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Perham Focus building under new ownership, remodel starting soon

The Perham Focus building has been sold, but the local newspaper business and its staff have no plans of leaving anytime soon.

The owners of Sperling Modern Home in Ottertail bought the building with plans to remodel the space utilized by the Perham Focus. Employees of the Focus have moved to the front portion of the building as remodeling work is set to begin soon.

When work is complete, the Focus will occupy a portion of the building and have a much more modern look and feel. During the entire process, the newspaper will remain open for business as usual. So if you've got a news tip, need to buy/sell something in print or online or interested in looking through old newspapers, you can continue visiting the business located at 222 Second Ave. SW in Perham.

The Perham Focus building was owned by Forum Communications Company (FCC) before the sale and the newspaper business remains under ownership of FCC.

Focus Publisher Jason Miller said the building was always too big for the needs of the staff and a smaller, updated space will be of more use to them. Miller added that it was his hope that if someone wanted to buy the building, they would remodel the space, and that is exactly what's now in the works. It's a plan he looks forward to seeing complete.

"I most look forward to having a modern space that suits our space, and technological, needs," Miller said.

It's not yet clear how long the process of remodeling will take, but it should cause no issues for the general public.

"Focus customers will not really be impacted by this change as they'll still be able to find us and stop in, just like they always have," Miller said. "The fact that we can remain in the same building and operate our newspaper out of the same place we have for years is a great plus."

The Perham Focus, Otter Tail County's oldest community weekly newspaper, was established in 1882. The newspaper is published on Thursdays. The Perham Focus newspaper office is also responsible for the Contact shopper, which publishes on Sundays.

Stop by the office, check out the latest news at or give the newspaper a call at 346-5900 for more information.

Michael Johnson

Johnson is a graduate of Verndale Public School. He earned his associate's degree from Central Lakes College with an emphasis in English and natural resources. He earned his bachelor's degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he graduated cum laude in 2008. While there, he double-majored in English and Print Journalism. He's reported for The Advocate, student newspaper of MSUM; The Barnesville Record Review in Barnesville, Minn.; Clay County Historical Society in Moorhead, Minn.; Gillette News Record in Gillette Wyo.; Underwood News in Underwood, N.D.; and The Leader-News in Washburn, N.D. and the Brainerd Dispatch in Brainerd, Minn. Johnson has worked as a reporter for the Pioneer Journal and Perham Focus since Nov. 2017.

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