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Forum Communications enters deal for Minn. newspaper properties

News Perham,Minnesota 56573
Perham Focus
Forum Communications enters deal for Minn. newspaper properties
Perham Minnesota 222 2nd Avenue SE 56573

FARGO – Forum Communications Co., which publishes The Forum, has entered into an agreement to purchase newspaper properties in the lakes country of north central Minnesota – including the Brainerd Dispatch.

The deal is to be completed Jan. 1.

Forum Communications Co. is purchasing the properties from Morris Communications, a media company based in Augusta, Ga.

Prior to the latest deal, Forum Communications Co. properties included nine daily newspapers and 22 community newspapers across the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Other FCC properties include: a radio station and a TV station in Fargo and TV stations in Bismarck, Minot and Grand Forks, N.D.; and commercial printing operations in Fargo and Duluth, Red Wing and Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Forum Communications also has a digital media division.

“Our company is pleased to acquire the Brainerd newspaper and its affiliated publications,” said Bill Marcil Sr., chairman of the board of directors of Forum Communications Co.

“The (Brainerd) market is an ideal fit for our regional media presence, including our Internet sites, commercial printing operations and the Minnesota resort marketing opportunities with our newspapers and websites in Alexandria, Detroit Lakes, Bemidji and Park Rapids,” Marcil said.

According to online historical sources, the Brainerd Dispatch published its first edition in December 1881.

The paper changed hands several times early on and in 1883 it went from being a weekly paper to a daily paper.

That same year, the Brainerd City Council voted to make the paper the city’s official newspaper, a tradition that was not interrupted until the year 1907, when a fire destroyed the building that housed the newspaper.

The owners of the paper purchased a different building in Brainerd and that location has been home to the Dispatch ever since.

According to 2010 Census numbers, Brainerd’s population is about 13,590.

The history of the Brainerd Dispatch is closely tied to the history of Brainerd itself, which became organized as a municipality in 1873 and was incorporated as a city in November 1881.

The city was named by a railroad official, John Gregory Smith, in honor of his wife, Anne, whose maiden name was Brainerd.

Dave Olson, INFORUM

Forum News Service
The Forum Communications News Service is the premier news wire service covering the Upper Midwest, stretching from the oilfields of western North Dakota to the plains of South Dakota and to the shores of eastern Minnesota. For more information about the services we offer or to discuss content subscriptions, please contact us.