Moose Lake newspaper has new ownerA former editor of the Pine Knot has purchased the Moose Lake Star Gazette and Evergreen Shopper. Tim Franklin of Franklin Newspapers closed on the purchase of the Moose Lake publications on Friday, purchasing them from owner Connie DeRungs.
A former editor of the Pine Knot has purchased the Moose Lake Star Gazette and Evergreen Shopper. Tim Franklin of Franklin Newspapers closed on the purchase of the Moose Lake publications on Friday, purchasing them from owners Connie DeRungs.
Franklin also owns the Pine County Courier in Sandstone, the Askov American and Hinckley News. With those newspapers in Pine County and Moose Lake in adjacent Carlton County, only 20 miles from Sandstone, the purchase made sense, he said.
Franklin grew up in Austin, Minn., and started his career at the Pine Knot in Cloquet after attending the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he was editor-in-chief of the UMD Statesman. He became sports editor of the Pine Knot in Cloquet in 1990 and was promoted to editor in 1992. While working there, he married Mary Fisher of Carlton.
“You could say I started learning the newspaper business after college, right there in Cloquet,” said Franklin.
After the Pine Knot, Franklin had newspaper jobs in Colby, Kan., Bastrop, La., and Hot Springs, S.D., before moving back to Minnesota to work for the former Murphy McGinnis group. He was publisher of the Cook County News-Herald in Grand Marais and was the company’s online editor.
He now owns four newspapers, one shopper, a monthly aviation magazine (Minnesota Flyer) and a storage business (Quarry Storage).
The Franklins’ daughters are both part of the Moose Lake hockey program. Emilee is senior this year and was co-captain for the Rebels and has also taken photos the last several years for all the family publications. Savannah, an eighth-grader, has done some photography work, too.
“Ours is truly a family business,” said Franklin, who stated the latest acquisition is an endorsement of his belief in the newspaper business in general.
“I don’t believe print journalism will go away any time soon,” he said. “People in small communities are always looking at their weekly newspaper and rely on it to capture the lives of their kids and families. Some call this refrigerator journalism, a way for people to cut something out of the newspaper as a lasting memory. While I traveled around the country with various newspaper jobs, I have always returned to Carlton County to visit Mary’s family. Since I bought the Pine County Courier almost 10 years ago, I had hoped to expand the company, and adding the Moose Lake Star-Gazette and Evergreen Shopper to the company is a great fit with the other publications I own. My goal is simple: Give the Moose Lake area a newspaper that they can be proud of. We have a great team in place there to continue the 100-plus-year history of the newspaper.”
The Moose Lake newspaper has about 2,500 subscribers, serving Carlton and Pine counties. The Evergreen is an 18,000 circulation shopper, he said.
“My goal is to improve the quality of the newspaper, along with taking care of all the current customers of both products,” Franklin said.