Thomson Reuters announced Tuesday it has bought SuperLawyers, the national attorney-ratings franchise that over the years has proven super-profitable for Minneapolis-based Key Professional Media.
Company spokesfolk weren’t immediately available, so I have more questions than answers. KeyPro has been part of Vance Opperman’s stable, and also publishes Minnesota Law & Politics, the smart-ass legal and government review long helmed by Bill White and Steve Kaplan. The Thomson Reuters release does not list L&P as an acquisition, so its fate for the moment is unclear.
Having written for L&P over the years, my understanding was the SuperLawyers is the cash cow, so I wonder if L&P will exist alone in the barn. Thomson Reuters executive Barb McGivern is now listed as general manager, which makes White’s role a question mark.
Opperman, whose family sold West Publishing to Thomson Corp. in 1996 for $3.4 billion, is listed on the Thomson Reuters board of directors. The global information company also own Eagan-based Findlaw, a lawyers directory. Massachusetts lawyer Robert Ambrogi, who said he spoke to a Thomson official, blogged that SuperLawyer ratings will be incorporated into Findlaw’s listings.
Opperman also owns Mpls.St.Paul magazine, and his bid for a chunk of the Star Tribune was spurned late last year.
I’ll provide an update when I hear back from the principals.