Ohio firm buys Indiana Legislative Insight, sister publications

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Columbus, Ohio-based Hannah News Service‐Midwest has acquired INGroup, the publisher of influential newsletters Indiana Legislative Insight, Indiana Gaming Insight and Indiana Education Insight, the companies announced Tuesday.

Terms of the agreement, which begins Jan. 1, were not disclosed.

INGroup moves under the Hannah umbrella as the flagship newsletter, Indiana Legislative Insight, enters its 30th year of publication. 

INGroup began publishing Indiana Gaming Insight in 1993—four years after it started publishing Indiana Legislative Insight. The company began publishing Indiana Education Insight in 1997.

With a combined 40-plus years of covering Indiana state politics and government, INGroup’s Ed Feigenbaum and Adam VanOsdol will continue to serve as publisher and senior editor, respectively. Feigenbaum and VanOsdol are INGroup’s only two employees.

Feigenbaum, who founded INGroup, has committed to serving as publisher of the newsletters for at least five more years.

“I’m not looking for an exit strategy in five years,” Feigenbaum, 59, told IBJ. “I’m looking at a very-long term situation here. I want to cement my ability to contribute.”

Feigenbaum said Hannah News Service contacted him to gauge his interest in selling his company earlier this year. After discussing the proposition with Hannah officials, he said the allure of operating within a bigger company with more resources was too great to pass up.

“This gives us an even greater opportunity to do what we’ve been doing … serve more people, expand our portfolio under the Hannah umbrella. … And possibly start a new newsletter or two,” Feigenbaum said. “We’re looking at all different kinds of options here. We’re looking at all opportunities.”

Feigenbaum said his company gets “its best [expansion] ideas by listening to what our readers need and want.”

Hannah News Service, which has operations in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois, provides legislative tracking and reporting software, along with vote analytics, to lobbyists, state agencies, the governor’s office, educational institutions and trade associations throughout Indiana.

“We’re excited about the expansion commitment that Hannah is making in Indiana, and we believe that this seamless transition will soon result in additional features and coverage that will benefit our subscribers as well as clients of the state‐of‐the‐art Hannah IndianaNet service,” Feigenbaum said in a written statement.

Feigenbaum and VanOsdol are both Indiana University grads. Feigenbaum received his law degree and MBA from IU, and VanOsdol earned an undergraduate degree and was editor in chief of the Indiana Daily Student. 

Founded in 1986, Hannah News Service provides detailed coverage of legislative committee meetings. It introduced its legislative tracking and reporting software to Indiana in 2014. The company views the strategic addition of InGroup's newsletters as a natural fit for its growing portfolio of services.

“Adding Ed and Adam will exponentially increase our ability to serve subscribers,” Hannah News principal Jonathan Wales said in written comments. “We’re excited about the synergy—the immediate infusion of more information for newsletter subscribers and clients of IndianaNet and our other services. Bringing INGroup’s team aboard gives us an unmatched ability to provide the full spectrum of invaluable services to those who work in and around state government.”

InGroup derives nearly all of its revenue through subscriptions to its three newsletters. Feigenbaum declined to disclose circulation figures for the newsletters—separately or cumulatively. He said circulation is in the four-figure range weekly.

The Indiana Legislative Insight is published weekly while the Indiana Gaming Insight and Indiana Education Insight are published twice a month. Most of the newsletters are emailed, but a far smaller number are distributed as hard copies.

Annual subscription prices are $395 for Indiana Legislative Insight, $375 for Indiana Gaming Insight and $345 for Indiana Education Insight. 

As part of the acquisition deal, Hanna News Service officials agreed not to raise subscription prices for any of INGroup’s publications through 2018.

INGroup's publications are popular with political insiders and the media.

In 2009, Feigenbaum was recognized by Ball State University with a special citation for "his journalistic and business leadership in a time of great change and opportunity" and “his contribution to reporting on Indiana state government…," among other achievements.
 

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