The Morrison County Record has been sold to ECM Publishers, a Coon Rapids-based business that now has 20 community newspapers and seven shoppers. The sale was effective Thursday.
The announcement was made Wednesday by Record owner Carol Hoheisel and ECM publisher and chief executive officer Julian Andersen. Hoheisel, who has owned the Record for 32 years and who worked for the newspaper for three years before buying it, will continue as a consultant to the newspaper. She said she'll write a column and call on advertising accounts.
"It's been fun," she said. "It's nice to have a job you like every day."
She said the Record's new general manager, Bob Cole, who is currently marketing director for ECM Publishers, will do a good job.
"He's bright and capable and he knows my employees," she said. "It will be a very good transition."
The Morrison County Record has been printed at ECM's printing plant in Princeton for the last five years. Cole has been marketing director for ECM since 1994.
Hoheisel declined to state the purchase price of the newspaper, saying only that it was a fair price.
Cole said the Record fits in well geographically with such ECM publications as the Dairyland Peach in Sauk Centre, the Princeton Union Eagle and the Mille Lacs County Times.
"This is a very nice growth area," he said. "Our goal here is to continue to build on the legacy that Carol has built with the staff."
Cole, who lives in Forest Lake, is past president of the Minnesota Free Papers Association and is treasurer of the Independent Free Papers of America.
The Record, according to a news release, began in 1973 when Hoheisel bought the Rich Prairie Shopper from Gene and Millie Gruber of Genola. Using a $500 loan for a down payment, Hoheisel developed what was an eight-page advertising circular into a newspaper that's delivered to more than 18,500 homes in Morrison County and five surrounding counties. The Farm and Country Record is mailed to an additional 3,500 households, the statement said. The Record averages 112 tabloid pages weekly. Today, officials said, the business employs 44 part- and full-time employees.
The shopper's name was changed to the Morrison County Shopper in 1975. In April 1979, the shopper became the Morrison County Record.
Andersen, the ECM publisher and chief executive officer, is the son of the late Elmer L. Andersen, who founded ECM Publishers. The elder Andersen was Minnesota's 30th governor and a former chief executive officer of H.B. Fuller Co. and of ECM Publishers.
MIKE O'ROURKE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5860.
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