Northern Minnesota journalists to buy Business North

There’s a notable sale in northern Minnesota media. Founder and publisher Wayne Nelson is selling his monthly publication Business North to veteran newspaper journalists Beth Bily and Ron Brochu. According to Business North, Nelson will remain editor of the publication during the transition.

Nelson built Business North into a respected and authoritative voice on business and economic issues in Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. As residents of this region know, the economy is important news and no one understands this place’s unique economy and business community the way Nelson does. Bily and Brochu are worthy successors and it’s nice to see that Business North will sustain itself beyond the legacy of its founder.

On a related note, it’s becoming clearer that niche publications like Business North and many small town community papers are finding ways to survive and even grow during the bad economy and the declining newspapers. There is a future for journalism: one that involves producing stories that people are willing to pay for. And perhaps this sale is an example that the best model might involve the content producers finding ways to operate without the layers of corporate pressure currently suffocating the industry. You know, old school.


  1. It’s always nice to hear about a business/publication that’s being sold instead of going under. Rare these days, but nice.

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