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Trader Interactive, based in Norfolk, Virginia, has purchased Crossville based The Cosby Harrison Company, owner of Trade A Plane. Approximately 30 employees were laid off earlier this year when the company stopped publishing paper editions of their magazines and published strictly online. Another round of layoffs took place yesterday.

For 79 years all of Cosby Harrison Company’s operations have been based in Crossville. They employed a full press and mailing staff as well as advertising representatives, customer service representatives, IT specialists, and their own web and computer development departments.

Some of the highlights of the Cosby Harrison Company’s history in Crossville include:

In 1950, The Cosby Harrison Company entered the heavy construction industry with the first printing of Rock & Dirt. In 1980, Tradequip was acquired to serve the oil and gas industry. Rock & Dirt expanded into the Latin American construction and mining market with the publication of Rock & Dirt en Español in 1992.

In 1997, The Cosby Harrison Company launched individual web sites for each publication. The web sites offer users not only the opportunity to search the entire contents of each publication but several other special “online only” features as well.

In 2003, The Cosby Harrison Company installed a new press that allows us to print four-color on every page. The press consists of a 12-unit, 3-web heat set press configured as two parallel lines, one with eight units stacked four over four and one with four units. The press also employs stochastic screen technology which adds better definition and clarity. The standard spray technology allows a faster turnaround with less waste.

In an official announcement released today, Trader Interactive, a leading marketplace and dealer services provider for the lifestyle vehicle and commercial equipment industries, announces the acquisition of the NextTruck, Rock & Dirt, Tradequip and Trade-A-Plane marketplaces from The Cosby Harrison Company. The transaction illustrates Trader Interactive’s commitment to vertical expansion in the commercial trucking and equipment industries, will facilitate international expansion beginning with the Rock and Dirt Español foreign language site, and provide new services to dealers and OEMs in all relevant industries.

The new marketplaces complement Trader Interactive’s Commercial Truck Trader, Equipment Trader and Aero Trader brands. The company also operates lifestyle vehicle marketplaces Cycle Trader, RV Trader, ATV Trader, PWC Trader and Snowmobile Trader.

NextTruck is a buy/sell digital listing service for commercial trucks and trailers. Rock & Dirt is a source for construction equipment, trucks, trailers, cranes, auctions, parts and attachments. Tradequip connects oil field equipment buyers and sellers worldwide. Trade-A-Plane has been a leading marketplace for aircraft for sale and aviation products and services since 1937.

As part of the acquisition:

All four new Trader Interactive marketplaces will retain their independent branding, supporting consumers’ preference for multiple touchpoints on the path to purchase and helping maximize visibility of available vehicles and equipment for participating dealers and OEMs.

Jeff Dyer, Chief Revenue Officer for Cosby Harrison, is joining Trader Interactive as Associate Vice President in charge of the four new marketplaces. The majority of Cosby Harrison employees associated with those marketplaces will also join the Trader Interactive team, providing continuity for customers as well as deep familiarity with the new platforms.

Cosby Harrison will retain its WeatherTAP and WeatherTAP Pro weather forecasting services, marketing services division, and commercial printing services.

“We have made exceptional gains across our entire portfolio over the past few years, including strong increases in site traffic, market share and technology-driven services expansions that have generated more leads and sales for our customers,” said Lori Stacy, CEO of Trader Interactive. “This transaction will continue to fuel our growth by increasing our penetration in the commercial space, enabling us to deepen our presence in the oil and gas equipment industry, adding a leading brand in the aviation sector, and giving us new ways to provide value to dealers and OEMs.”

“The path to purchase today is largely digital, and Trader Interactive has mastered the art as well as the science of supporting both the supply and demand sides of marketplaces more than anyone else in our vertical sectors,” said Adam Strachn, CEO of Cosby Harrison. “This transition will strengthen the offerings we’ve built, taking advantage of Trader’s deep technology expertise, and leave our customers as well as visitors to our marketplaces in good hands.”

The transaction closed February 10, 2020. Financial details were not disclosed.

Trader Interactive connects buyers and sellers in the power sports, recreational vehicle, commercial vehicle, and heavy equipment industries through a broad portfolio of marketplaces that reach 9 million unique monthly visitors. Linked by a widely recognized family of “Trader” trademarks dating back several decades, the company’s brands include lifestyle vehicle marketplaces Cycle Trader, RV Trader, ATV Trader, PWC Trader, Snowmobile Trader and Aero Trader, as well as commercial vehicle marketplaces Commercial Truck Trader and Equipment Trader.

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