Firecrown Media Acquires Railroad and Space Enthusiast Brands of Kalmbach Media

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Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips client Kalmbach Media, a leading independent media company that provides ideas and inspiration to avid hobbyists, enthusiasts, and citizen scientists through its multichannel brands, has sold its railroad and space enthusiast brands to Firecrown Media, one of the leading transportation media providers serving the aviation, boating, and logistics industries.

The acquisition includes Trains, Model Railroader, Classic Toy Trains, Classic Trains, Garden Railways, and, the space enthusiast brand Astronomy, as well as FineScale Modeler, Kalmbach Books, and their digital e-commerce stores. is the world's most popular railroad news and entertainment website, and the print magazines are the most read in the category. In recent years, has built an extensive video portfolio, tailoring content around the love of trains and model railroading.

Jay Kirsch, Partner at Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips, said, “We continue to see the premium value of dedicated, engaged audiences for media brands. For decades Kalmbach has shown the ability to give their communities best-in-class content needed for their personal hobbies. The portfolio Firecrown is building leverages demand for great content and the commerce value of these markets."

“The rail titles are a perfect addition to our portfolio, not just because of their business potential but also because of the shared passion and spirit of the rail and aviation communities. We believe that ‘railfans’ and ‘avgeeks’ are kindred spirits,” shared Craig Fuller, founder and CEO of Firecrown.

Firecrown also becomes the new owner of Astronomy, the largest magazine serving the space community. Published for over 50 years, Astronomy has become the go-to source for amateur and professional astronomers.

“We are excited to have found a new home for these storied and well-respected brands,” says Dan Hickey, CEO, Kalmbach Media. “While these are always difficult decisions, it is great to know that their stewardship moving forward will be under the guidance of a company and leader dedicated and passionate about their continued growth and expansion.”

Firecrown plans to retain all of the editorial and content resources of the former Kalmbach Media brands and to open a new office in Wisconsin to accommodate the teams currently working on them.

Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips served as the exclusive financial advisor to Kalmbach Media on the transaction. This transaction further highlights ODP's deep sector expertise in advising consumer and digital media businesses.

Read the official release here.


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