Local Publisher Acquires Estherville, Emmetsburg Newspapers

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Local Publisher Acquires Estherville, Emmetsburg Newspapers

EMMETSBURG -- Jerry Wiseman, a longtime newspaper publisher in Iowa, has reached an agreement to purchase the Estherville News and the Emmetsburg Reporter and Democrat from the Ogden Newspapers, the two parties announced Thursday.

The sale is set to close June 1.

Wiseman, a native of Estherville, currently operates several weeklies in the region. He said he and his wife Rebecca and their business partner Kristin Grabinoski are purchasing the Estherville and Emmetsburg newspapers with an eye toward the future.

Wiseman is a native of Estherville who said he “grew up on the farm reading ‘Alley Oop’ and ‘Beetle Bailey’ in the Estherville Daily News.” He and his wife live in Estherville while Grabinoski and her husband Jay, live in nearby Armstrong.

“This is very exciting. We’re investing in our home communities, and we see a very bright future for weekly community newspapers such as the Estherville News and the Emmetsburg Reporter and Democrat, as long as we take care of them by continuing to serve the readers and the advertisers,” Wiseman said. “We love this business and want to do our part to serve our home communities in Emmet and Palo Alto counties and keep them strong.”

Grabinoski also publishes several northwest Iowa weekly newspapers. She has worked with the Wisemans for 34 years — with the last 20 as a partner in their operation.

Wiseman said while the newspapers will continue to be printed by Ogden following the sale’s closing, printing eventually will move to the central plant in Armstrong.

He thanked the Ogden Newspapers for setting the standard in how to best serve readers and advertisers in communities such as Estherville and Emmetsburg.

“The Ogden Newspapers is a very well-respected, family-owned newspaper group, as opposed to the major newspaper groups that are now owned by hedge funds and outside investors,” Wiseman said. “Ogden has done what a good community group is supposed to do — they’ve served as a wonderful steward to these two communities. We care about these communities just as Ogden did, and frankly we have a lot to live up to.”

Ogden Newspapers acquired the Emmetsburg Reporter and Democrat in 1979, and the Estherville News in 1985.

“We have been proud to serve these two wonderful communities for the past several decades,” said Ogden Newspapers CEO Robert Nutting. “With the sale to Jerry Wiseman, we feel confident that we are leaving both newspapers in good hands.

“Jerry knows these markets and newspapers well. We believe he will do a good job serving the readers and advertisers in the Estherville and Emmetsburg communities.”

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