Scenic Range NewsForum to cease publication

Itasca Scenic Highway bridge

The Scenic Highway 7 rail bridge in Itasca County. (PHOTO: Tony Webster, Flickr CC-BY)

Another local newspaper bites the dust, this one on the western Mesabi Iron Range.

On Tuesday, the Scenic Range NewsForum announced that the weekly newspaper will cease publication at the end of 2020.

The newspaper published for decades at the Scenic Range News out of Bovey, Minnesota. The name refers to the local belief that the western Mesabi Range is the more attractive half of the region, closer to lakes and hilly forests.

In recent years the paper moved to neighboring Coleraine. It covered the Itasca County portion of the Mesabi Range, including Keewatin, Nashwauk, Calumet, Marble, Taconite, Bovey and Coleraine.

The paper covered two school districts, Nashwauk-Keewatin and Greenway, and several local governments.

Importantly, it was a good paper. Even as print publications struggled in other rural communities, the Scenic always included a good mix of local news, sports, pictures, and relevant local advertising. It was, to my eye, a successful holdout from a bygone day of community newspapering.

But the logistics of the business brings the paper to an end. The paper struggled to find ways to cover its communities with minimal staff and freelancers as the roster of businesses that could advertise grew smaller.

The statement released by publishers Beth Bily and Ron Brochu is as follows:

Dear Friends:
It is with regret we must inform you that the Scenic Range NewsForum will discontinue publishing effective January 2021. The last edition of the newspaper will be distributed on Dec. 31, 2020.
We have enjoyed serving the communities of Itasca County for the past (nearly) eight years. It has been a pleasure and an honor. But, while we have greatly enjoyed bringing community news to our readers these past years, the financial reality is such that we feel compelled to cease operations.
While we will be closing our doors, we do still strongly support and value locally produced news. We hope that you also will support the remaining local news organizations in Itasca County; such as KOZY Radio, ICTV, KAXE Radio, the WATTS news, the Grand Rapids Herald-Review and the Mesabi Tribune.
Our offices will remain open with limited hours through Dec. 31. Our PO Box 70 address in Bovey will remain open for several months into 2021. Our website will continue to be live through Jan. 31. If you have questions, please feel free to email:
Thank you for your years of support both to us and previous owners through this newspaper’s long and storied history. We wish our readers and local communities the very best for the future.
Many thanks,
Beth Bily & Ron Brochu, publishers


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