NU Online News Service, Sept. 7, 2004, 6:04 p.m. EDT

Highline Media L.L.C., the parent company of National Underwriter, announced today it has acquired the 114?year-old weekly Insurance Advocate magazine. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. [@@]

The publication covers New York, the nation’s second-largest property-casualty insurance market, as well as New Jersey and Connecticut. Along with the deal, rights were acquired to:

- Insurance Advocate’s New York Financial Services Advisor, a life-health magazine.

- CRACKDOWN!, a fraud prevention magazine, with related anti-fraud conferences.

- Several insurance book titles.

Highline Media was formed in October 2003 by Spire Capital Partners L.P., and Andrew L. Goodenough, its president and chief executive officer, to acquire business-to-business information assets in the financial services, insurance and real estate fields. Highline’s first acquisition was The National Underwriter Company, for which Goodenough now serves as president and chief executive office. NUCO recently acquired a major insurance and banking data division from Thomson.

Highline’s intent has been to use Erlanger, Ky.-headquartered NUCO as a base from which to build a multi-market, multi-product publishing and information services business, including a combination of magazine, data, newsletter, conference, trade show, Web site and book assets, delivered in print, electronic and live event form.

Insurance Advocate joins Florida Underwriter in a growing stable of regional publications at NUCO, which now publishes regionals directed to the concerns of the second-and fourth largest U.S. insurance markets.

“Acquisition of the Insurance Advocate and its related publications is a logical expansion move for NUCO, to gain depth in the most important insurance market in the country,” said Goodenough.

“Insurance is still a local business, subject to state regulation,” he added. “Most insurance executives operate more locally, because their clients are within a focused market geographically. New York and the entire tri-state area, with its many unique characteristics, have been well served for 114 years by the publication that is today the Insurance Advocate.”

“Insurance Advocate is an institution whose stewardship requires particular dedication and a special sense of service to the industry, to its professionals, to its venerable past, and to its promising future,” said Stephen Acunto Sr., president of CINN Worldwide Inc. and publisher of the Insurance Advocate from 1985 to 2004.

“After 20 years as both a publisher and curator, working with the dean of insurance editors, Manny Levy, I am fully comfortable and confident that the team Andy Goodenough has assembled, led by Stephen Acunto Jr., will sustain the Insurance Advocate’s vital, crisp, ?news that stays news’ identity well into the future.”

Acunto is also the creator of Insurance Advocate’s successful spinoffs Crackdown! and Financial Services Advisor.

In addition to Insurance Advocate’s Associate Publisher, Stephen Acunto, Associate Editor Philip Gusman will remain with the magazine, and will be relocated to NUCO’s Hoboken offices by the end of October. They join the Insurance Magazine Division headed by Tom Fowler, vice president and group publisher of NUCO.