Forum Communications Co., based in Fargo, N.D., announced Thursday, Dec. 26, it has entered into an agreement to purchase Echo Publishing and the Brainerd Dispatch from Morris Communications Co., effective Jan. 1.
Morris Communications, based in Augusta, Ga., has owned Echo Publishing since 1999 and the Dispatch since 1995.
Echo Publishing publishes the weekly Pineandlakes Echo Journal newspaper and the weekly Echoland Piper Shopper.
Bill Marcil Jr., chief operating officer and executive vice president for Forum Communications Co. as well as publisher of The Forum in Fargo, was recently named the new president/chief executive officer of Forum Communications Co., effective Jan. 1. He will continue as publisher of The Forum.
His father, William C. Marcil, is chairman of Forum Communications.
Forum Communications owns 36 newspapers throughout the Midwest. Most are small dailies and weeklies. Among the Forum’s properties are The Forum of Fargo, N.D., The Pioneer of Bemidji, Duluth News Tribune, Grand Forks Herald, The Jamestown Sun, the Superior Telegram, the West Central Tribune of Willmar, the Daily Globe of Worthington and the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
The Forum holdings also include four ABC television affiliates in North Dakota, an AM radio station in Fargo and commercial printing businesses. Forum Communications employs about 1,800 people.
The media company has a news bureau with about 180 employees.