The Kodiak Daily Mirror and the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner are being made available for sale, newspaper Chief Executive Officer William Dean Singleton has announced.
The family trusts of Singleton and longtime friend and media partner Richard Scudder purchased the newspaper from C.W. Snedden in 1992.
Scudder died in 2012, and Singleton retired in 2013. The two men founded MediaNews Group, which at its height owned dozens of daily and weekly newspapers across the nation.
“We have owned newspapers in Alaska for 23 years, and we grew to love Alaska just as we loved our newspapers,” Singleton wrote in a letter to employees. “Yet although we were lifelong newspapermen, none in our families chose that calling, even though we both wished they had.”
Singleton and members of the Scudder family have hired a Montana firm to assist in finding new owners for the Fairbanks and Kodiak papers.
“If we don’t find the right buyer, we will continue to own the newspapers,” Singleton said in the letter.
News-Miner Publisher Marti Buscaglia praised the ownership’s management of the News-Miner.
“Dean Singleton, his family and the Scudder family have been excellent stewards of the News-Miner for the past 23 years,” she said. “Their ownership has allowed the newspaper to continue a 113 year tradition of serving the Interior.
“I am saddened that we will be losing such wonderful and caring owners, but Dean has assured me that he will sell only to someone who will continue that stewardship,” she said. “He wants the newspaper in good hands.”
The Fairbanks and Kodiak newspapers have remained “profitable and healthy,” Singleton said, even during the recent years turmoil in the media industry. The two newspapers have undergone staff reductions in that time, following a trend prevalent in the industry as advertising revenue fell, but have simultaneously expanded readership among web and mobile users.