Fargo media company purchases Brainerd Dispatch, other papers


The owner of the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and other media properties entered into an agreement Thursday to buy the company that owns the Brainerd Dispatch and other north central Minnesota newspapers, the Forum reports.

Based in Fargo, North Dakota, Forum Communications is purchasing the properties from Morris Communications, which is based in Augusta, Georgia. The deal is expected to be finalized Jan. 1.

According to the Dispatch, Forum Communications owner Bill Marcil Jr. said he didn't envision any changes that the Brainerd paper's readers would notice. He also called the Dispatch a "great, quality newspaper."

Dispatch publisher Tim Bogenschutz said his employees reacted positively and enthusiastically to news of the deal.

In addition to the Fargo-Moorhead paper, Forum Communications already owns nine daily newspapers, including the Duluth News Tribune, and 22 community newspapers across Minnesota, the Dakotas and Wisconsin.

Forum Communications also owns TV stations in Fargo, Bismarck, Minot and Grand Forks, North Dakota; a radio station in Fargo; and commercial printing operations in Fargo and Duluth, Red Wing and Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.

The Brainerd Dispatch was founded on Dec. 22, 1881, as the Brainerd Weekly Dispatch. The Dispatch became a daily paper in 1883.

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