About Us

Our History

Shaw Media is an exciting mix of strengths, which forms an agile, industry-leading media company. We are high functioning, employee oriented and – above all else – committed to our communities and clients.

We are proud to be the third oldest, continuously owned and operated family media company in the nation. Our legacy of success dates back more than 166 years to 1851. That long track record of success has been due to our talented group of over 550 employees who put their very best into Shaw Media’s award-winning daily and weekly print and online publications located in Illinois and Iowa. Our history of success continues.

The pedigree of Shaw Media reads like a fascinating lesson in American history—involving documented Mayflower ancestry and government office in the Plymouth colonies; a daring, orphaned 14 year-old pony express rider turned printer/newspaper editor; the founding of the early Republican party; partnership with no less than Abraham Lincoln; and a determined businesswoman blazing professional trails in the early 1900s. It's a story characterized by tenacity, drive, and vision—the same qualities that still define Shaw Media today.

Taking the Legacy Into the Future

As Shaw Media and area businesses have evolved into the digital space over the years, the need for versatility became apparent and imperative. An always-expanding array of marketing and advertising solutions for our clients has been the result. In 2017, another step forward was taken with the launch of Shaw Media Marketing, which combines all of the elements and resources of the existing company to form a specialized, full-service marketing and advertising agency. The gamut of powerful digital and print tools at the disposal of the agency is geared to creatively and purposefully help our clients successfully market their businesses and grow their customer base.

Through the years, Shaw Media has worked with thousands of businesses in virtually every vertical on a multitude of projects, and as we continue to grow and build new digital audiences, you can rest assured that quality and history are on your side.

The Timeline

  • 1851 — First issue of The Dixon Telegraph and Herald printed in Dixon, Illinois. Benjamin Flower Shaw, age twenty, becomes owner and editor.
  • 1856 — B.F. Shaw, along with 11 other newspaper editors—and Abraham Lincoln—meet in Decatur to form the Republican Party of Illinois in response to the growing concern over slavery.
  • 1883 — The Telegraph converts to daily publication with evening edition.
  • 1894 — The Telegraph moves to a new building at First and Ottawa Streets.
  • 1902 — Eustace E. Shaw, son of B. F. Shaw, dies at the age of 42. His widow, Mabel S. Shaw, becomes the Telegraph's publisher, and works with ingenuity and foresight to become a major force in the newspaper business — a rarity for women in that era.
  • 1909 — B.F. Shaw dies.
  • 1936 — Dixon Publishing Company founded.
  • 1944 — Newton Daily News (Iowa) purchased.
  • 1945 — Nachusa Hotel in Dixon purchased.
  • 1946 — Creston News Advertiser (Iowa) purchased.
  • 1948 — Woodstock Sentinel purchased.
  • 1949 — McHenry Plaindealer purchased.
  • 1952 — Morris Daily Herald purchased.
  • 1953 — Webster City Journal (Iowa) purchased.
  • 1955 — Mabel Shaw dies at the age of 84. KJFJ Radio Station, Webster City, Iowa purchased.
  • 1959 — Telegraph moves to 113 S. Peoria Avenue.
  • 1967 — Harvard Herald purchased.
  • 1970 — Marengo Beacon started.
  • 1971 — McHenry County Citizen purchased.
  • 1973 — All Webster City properties sold.
  • 1973 — Nachusa Hotel sold.
  • 1976 — Dixon Publishing Company sold.
  • 1977 — Bureau County Republican, Princeton purchased.
  • 1977 — Shopper's Service, Harvard, purchased.
  • 1977 — Tri-County Press, Forreston Journal, and Mt. Morris Times purchased.
  • 1982 — Illinois Valley Shopping News, Princeton, purchased.
  • 1983 — Free Press Group in McHenry County purchased.
  • 1983 — Jasper County Advertiser, Newton, Iowa purchased.
  • 1984 — Creston Shopper, Creston, Iowa purchased.
  • 1985 — McHenry, Woodstock, Harvard, Marengo, Free Press Group and Shoppers merged into present Northwest Herald.
  • 1985 — Oregon Republican Reporter purchased.
  • 1989 — Chronicle Newspapers purchased.
  • 1989 — Northwest Herald launches Sunday edition.
  • 1991 — Kane County Chronicle converts to daily publication.
  • 1993 — McHenry County Business Journal started.
  • 1994 — Kane County Business Journal started.
  • 1995 — Shaw Newspapers corporate office moves to new home.
  • 1995 — Daily Gazette, Sterling, purchased.
  • 1996 — Lake County Business Journal started.
  • 1997 — Voyager acquired by Sauk Valley Newspapers.
  • 1997 — crestonnewsadvertiser.com launched.
  • 1998 — saukvalley.com launched.
  • 1999 — nwherald.com launched.
  • 1999 — kcchronicle.com launched.
  • 2000 — Business Journals closed.
  • 2000 — Sauk Valley Newspapers moves to new home.
  • 2000 — RC Printing acquired by Sauk Valley Newspapers.
  • 2000 — bcrnews.com launched.
  • 2000 — morrisdailyherald.com launched.
  • 2000 — osceolaiowa.com launched.
  • 2001 — daily-chronicle.com launched.
  • 2001 — Suburban Strategic Marketing Group, comprised of Northwest Herald, Kane County Chronicle, and the SSMG Weeklies, founded.
  • 2001 — newtondailynews.com launched.
  • 2002 — McHenry County Business Journal re-launched.
  • 2002 — midweeknews.com launched.
  • 2003 — Ryan T. McKibben named as first non-family Chairman of the Board.
  • 2004 — Bureau County Republican moves to new home.
  • 2004 — oglecountynews.com launched.
  • 2005 — Lakeland Media purchased.
  • 2005 — vfpnews.com launched.
  • 2006 — El Conquistador purchased.
  • 2006 — Lo Nuestro purchased.
  • 2006 — Osceola Sentinel-Tribune and the Advertiser purchased.
  • 2007 — DeKalb Daily Chronicle purchased.
  • 2007 — elconquistadornews.com launched.
  • 2010 — Shaw Media name adopted.
  • 2012 — Suburban Life Media purchased
  • 2012 — Record Newspapers purchased
  • 2012 — Gurnee Life launched
  • 2013 — Shaw Media & Arthur Publishing, owner of the weekly Jasper County Tribune, enter a joint-operating agreement.
  • 2013 — Barrington Life launched.
  • 2013 — Minooka-Channahon Life, the successor publication to the Southwest Herald, launched.
  • 2013 — Valley Free Press changed name to Valley Life.
  • 2013 — Sauk Valley Media enters partnership with Lake Carroll Home Owners Association to produce Lake Carroll News.
  • 2013 — John Rung elected as first non-family President.
  • 2013 — Suburban Life Magazine launched.
  • 2013 — Prairie City News purchased.
  • 2013 — ChicagoFootball.com launched.
  • 2014 — The Herald-News purchased.
  • 2015 — Pro Football Weekly brand re-launched.
  • 2016 — Kendall County Record purchased.
  • 2017 — Shaw Media Marketing launched.