Forum Communications announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Brainerd (MN) Dispatch from Morris Communications Corp. The purchase includes all companion publications and websites related to the operation.            

Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a media merger-and-acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented Forum Communications in the transaction.            

The parties intend to close the transaction December 31, 2013. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.            

The Brainerd Dispatch, with daily circulation of 10,300 and Sunday circulation of 15,100, has been owned by Morris since 1995. Morris is a multimedia company located in Augusta, Georgia.            

Forum Communications, based in Fargo, North Dakota, owns 36 newspapers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin, including the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. The family-owned company also has television and radio holdings, a commercial printing division, Internet businesses and websites at each of its operations.            

William C. Marcil, chairman of Forum Communications, said: "Our company is pleased to acquire the Brainerd newspaper and its affiliated publications.  The market is an ideal 'fit' for our regional media operations, including our Internet sites, commercial printing operations and the Minnesota resort marketing opportunities with our newspapers and web sites in Alexandria, Detroit Lakes, Bemidji and Park Rapids."            

The Brainerd Dispatch was owned by the McCollough family prior to its sale to Stauffer Communications of Topeka, Kansas in 1984. Morris acquired Stauffer in 1995.            

For more information contact Owen Van Essen at Dirks, Van Essen & Murray at 505-820-2700.

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