The Inlander

August 2019

Digital Edition of the Inland Press Association. Offering financial research, salary compensation survey, training for advertising, classifieds, editorial, circulation, social media, human resources, special sections and niche products.

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THE INLANDER TEAM MARK FITZGERALD, EDITOR CREATIVE CIRCLE MEDIA SOLUTIONS, DESIGN & PRODUCTION OUTSOURCING The Inlander is the official publication of the Inland Press Association and Foundation. It is published 12 times a year. The Inlander is printed by Shaw Community News Group, Sterling, Ill. Paper supplied by PAGE Cooperative, King of Prussia, Pa. DISCLAIMER: Columns and articles do not represent the opinions of Inland Press Association or its members or of the Inland Press Foundation. Submissions from law firms do not constitute legal advice or opinions. They are intended for general information purposes only THE INLAND PRESS ASSOCIATION The Inland Press Association is a not-for-profit organization owned by its members and operated by a volunteer board. Dues are among the lowest in the industry, about $32.20 per thousand circulation for dailies, $137.50 flat rate for weeklies. The Inland Press Foundation assists with continuing educa- tion programs for newspaper employees. TOM SLAUGHTER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR tslaughter@ PATRICIA SLUSHER, DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP & PRO- GRAMMING CARLEY LINTZ, PROGRAMMING AND MEMBERSHIP COORDINATOR STEVE HOFFMAN, ACCOUNTING MANAGER shoffman@ INLAND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE DOUG PHARES, ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT President and COO, Sandusky Newspapers. • Sandusky Ohio TOM YUNT, ASSOCIATION CHAIRMAN COO, United Communications Corp. • Kenosha, Wis. CORY BOLLINGER, ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT-ELECT VP, Publishing, Schurz Communications • Mishawaka, Ind ALAN FISCO, ASSOCIATION VICE PRESIDENT President, The Seattle Times • Seattle, Wash JEREMY HALBREICH, FOUNDATION PRESIDENT , CEO AIM Media Management • Dallas, Texas CAMERON NUTTING WILLIAMS, FOUNDATION VICE PRESIDENT Regional Publisher., The Nutting Co. • Wheeling, W. Va. TOM SLAUGHTER, FOUNDATION SECRETARY-TREASURER Inland Executive Director • Des Plaines, Ill. The Inlander: (ISSN 1066-2146) is published monthly by the Inland Press Association, Inc. Subscription rate for non-mem- bers is $75. Periodical Postage Paid at Des Plaines, Ill., and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Inland Press Association, ATTN: The Inlander, 701 Lee St., Suite 925, Des Plaines, IL 60016 ©2019 The Inland Press Association, Inc. All Rights Reserved. AUGUST 2019 • VOL. 34, NO. 8 701 Lee St., Suite 925, Des Plaines, IL 60016 (847) 795-0380 • Fax (847) 795-0385 • PAGE 2 THE INLANDER • INLANDPRESS.ORG • AUGUST 2019 EO MEDIA GROUP'S $3.65 MILLION BID WINS AUCTION FOR BEND BULLETIN AND SISTER WEEKLY E O Media Group won the contested auction for Western Communication's flagship Bend Bulletin and the weekly Redmond Spokesman. The sale of the 17,000-circulation daily Bulletin and the 2,000-circulation weekly Spokesman was approved July 30 by Judge Trish Brown in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon. The sale is expected to close at the end of August. EO Media outbid Adams Publishing Group in the auction, held in a Portland, Oregon, law office. Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers, which had made the first bid for the papers, did not participate in the auction, according to an account in the Bulletin by Business Editor Kathleen McLaughlin. Western Communications filed for Chapter 11 bank- ruptcy protection in January, and has been selling off its newspapers since the beginning of the summer. "This offers the papers a chance for a fresh start," EO Media COO Heidi Wright told The Bulletin. EO Media will be the majority owner of a new holding company, Central Oregon Media Group, for the papers, Wright told The Bulletin. A group of Bend investors who contributed capital will have a minority stake, but their agreement with EO Media prevents them from exercising editorial control, according to Wright. Among the investors is The Bend Foundation, a charity founded to benefit injured loggers and paper mill workers. "We believe having a strong local newspaper is a critical part of a democracy," said Mike Hollern, a trustee of the foundation. Salem, Oregon-based EO Media is a family-owned publishing company founded in 1908 and on its fourth generation of owners. Its Oregon properties include the flagship East Oregonian in Pendleton, the Herm- iston Herald, Wallowa County Chieftain and Blue Mountain Eagle. Western Communications Chairwoman Betsy McCool said in The Bulletin that the company fell into financial trouble because it invested in local news. "We protected that newsroom for years. It was important to us," she said. "It's sad to see what happened to the newspaper industry and how it affected everybody in this country." McCool told the paper she was rooting for EO Media Group to come out ahead at the auction, noting that she has known the family owners since she was a child. "They seem like compassionate people that care about Oregon," she told The Bulletin. The Bulletin report on the sale noted that "one lingering question is what EO Media Group will do with Western Communications' press at the Bend headquarters." EO Media is not buying the building housing the press. "Terms of a lease for space inside the building require the press to be relocated within 90 days of the building's sale," Wright told the newspaper. Dirks, Van Essen, Murray & April, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico repre- sented Western Communications in the transaction. THE BULLETIN FILE PHOTO The headquarters of Western Communications and the offices of The Bulletin in Bend, Oregon. BRIEFS Related: In a separate bankruptcy sale, EO Media Group buys two eastern Oregon newspapers from Western Communications. See page 4. "It's reassuring for the future of community newspapers when a small independent company like EO Media Group can prevail, even when going up against the big companies that are buying up newspapers nonstop around the country." — HEIDI WRIGHT, COO, EO MEDIA

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