2014 was supposed to be a year of little change for Echo Publishing. After consolidating operations with and moving offices to the Brainerd Dispatch in 2012, combining the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo in 2013, and expanding circulation of the Echoland Piper Shopper last week, 2014 stretched ahead with no such major undertakings.
Then came word on Dec. 24 that Morris Communications had sold Echo Publishing and the Brainerd Dispatch to Forum Communications Co., effective Jan. 1.
So much for starting 2014 without a bang!
Morris Communications, based in Augusta, Ga., had owned Echo Publishing since 1999, when family owner Peter Anderson sold the company. Echo now returns to Midwest ownership in Forum Communications, which is based in Fargo, N.D., and owns 37 weekly and daily newspapers across Minnesota, North and South Dakota and Wisconsin.
While employees are optimistic, the big question is, what does this mean for our readers?
We’re happy to report that Forum is committed to community coverage and maintaining the long history of our printed products. So readers really shouldn’t notice any major differences at all.
We have the same reporters covering our area cities from Nisswa and Lake Shore to Pequot Lakes, Breezy Point and Crosslake, and from Jenkins and Pine River to Backus and Hackensack.
Those same reporters will be out taking photos at area events, including Back to Hack, the Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza, Crosslake Winterfest and the Nisswa Winter Jubilee.
Our same advertising representatives will be calling on area businesses and organizations, seeking to sell ads. And we’ll be posting it all to our website at www.pineandlakes.com.
As always, we remain committed to providing quality local news and advertisements to our readers and to be the voice of our communities. We’ll now do that with the support of Forum Communications, and we look forward to this change in 2014.