The trials, tribulations of Range papers, mine salvage operations

A couple of interesting items to point out from Business North this week.

This Beth Bily story from explains the “growing pains” of Magnetation, the new company producing iron ore products from salvaged iron ore dumps piled up years ago. The company continues to expand, but the story shows how close it came to collapsing because of challenges in the technology. Having grown up on a junkyard I continue to marvel that the only Range business expanding in this recession is related to salvage. Check it out.

Second, the international owner of the Superior Publishing Company, which runs notable Iron Range papers like the Mesabi Daily News, the Grand Rapids Herald-Review and the Hibbing Daily Tribune, collapsed into 90 percent ownership by lenders who organized the deal to buy the group. I write a column for the Hibbing Daily Tribune and used to be editor of that paper. Therefore, I will simply comment that I’m sure these nameless lenders will have the best interest of these local, vibrant communities in mind as they make decisions, and will in no way solely rely on profit margins. This time is going to be different, I can feel it.


  1. Aaron: I have long decried the way the local papers are attempting to get online readers to pay the freight on the paper. That model is doomed to fail, and this collapse is evidence. What they should be doing instead is making access as free and easy as possible, and selling that traffic to their advertisers, just as they have done for decades in the print version. I just hope the new management gets a clue and reverses that disastrous policy.

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