Iron Range papers among 34 sold to Adams Publishing

Word NEWS in Old Typewriter Typebar Letters Isolated on WhiteThe largest circulation newspapers on northern Minnesota’s Iron Range have been sold along with 34 others to Minneapolis-based Adams Publishing Group. The purchase includes 34 newspapers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio and the Chesapeake Bay region. Business North reports on the sale, and this article appeared in all the affected newspapers, including the (Virginia, Minn.) Mesabi Daily News, Hibbing (Minn.) Daily Tribune and Grand Rapids (Minn.) Herald-Review.

Adams Publishing is described as a diversified media company including print, radio, internet and outdoor advertising operations. This is a huge buy for them, so I’d like to know more about this company. (Not that we ever knew all that much about the international banking confederation known as American Consolidated Media who sold the group Thursday).

I had wondered if Forum Publishing might have taken a stab at buying the Range papers, since they print them at their¬†Duluth News Tribune publishing facility. That apparently wasn’t in the cards, nor was the idea of breaking up the papers for individual sale. In truth, these papers are so leveraged in debt service from their multiple sales over the past 10 years that they’re probably only worth anything as a group. The terms of this particular sale are not known, so that’s merely an educated guess.

Adams is a family-owned business, which is to say ownership is private, not publicly traded. Every time a group of papers is sold like this, questions of possible change arise. All we have so far are the “everything is hunky-dory here in a corporate wonderland” quotes, so time will tell, as it always does.

DISCLOSURE: I write a column for the Hibbing Daily Tribune and was editor of that paper 11 years ago.

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