Former Buffalo Beat Owner Exits Business

Shoppers and press sold to Maryland company after losing biggest client last year.

The owner of New York-based Rama Group of Companies, which formerly held an interest in AAN member Buffalo Beat, has sold the remainder of his media company to a Maryland-based firm.

Mark Maussner, the founder and sole owner of Buffalo Beat, said his father, Richard Maussner, sold his Metro Community News chain (advertising shoppers in upstate New York with a total circulation of 290,000) to Strategic Publications, which publishes Pennysavers in suburban Washington, D.C., including Maryland and Virginia. Rama’s Reliable Mailing and Distribution divisions, plus its pre-press and web press operations, were also sold to Strategic Publications as part of the deal.

The sale price was not disclosed.

Mark Maussner also confirmed that his father’s former company is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, although the government agency has not disclosed why it raided Rama headquarters in April. Buffalo’s daily paper reported that the IRS also conducted simultaneous raids on Maussner’s home and horse farm.

Mark Maussner said his father, 65, decided to exit the newspaper and printing business after losing his largest account last year. Tops Markets Inc., a chain of high-end grocery stores in the Northeast, shifted a multimillion-dollar printing contract from the Metro Community News to an international company in February, Buffalo’s business journal reported. Mark Maussner said that because he is not going to take over the family business and because his father is of retirement age, the elder Maussner opted to leave the business altogether.

Richard Maussner sold his interest in the Buffalo Beat to his son in November 1999.

Buffalo Beat has been printed at the Maussner press since it was launched in 1996. As part of the buyout, Mark Maussner signed a three-year contract with Strategic Publications to continue printing his paper there. Maussner also announced he is moving his paper from its present suburban headquarters to downtown Buffalo in early October.