After 43 years as owners of the Ransom County Gazette in Lisbon, North Dakota, Sean and Cheryl Kelly announced on November 1, 2019, that they have sold the publication to NorDak Publishing, LLC.
Besides the Gazette, the Kellys also announced the sale of the Sargent County Teller, Cass County Reporter, and Traill County Tribune. NorDak Publishing has purchased all four of those newspapers.
These are the first newspapers the company has owned in North Dakota. J. Louis Mullen of Buffalo, WY. owns NorDak Publishing.
Julie Bergman of Grimes, McGovern and Associates represented the Kellys in the sale.
Mullen owns 11 other community weekly newspapers in South Dakota, Michigan, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Wyoming.
“Small communities are a vital part of our country and a strong newspaper run by the people in that community is necessary,” he said.
Kelsey Majeske is the new publisher of the four North Dakota papers as well as three in South Dakota.
The Kellys first came to Lisbon to run the Gazette in October of 1976.
“We are so grateful for our 43 years of being a part of the Lisbon community,” the Kellys said in a statement. “Our family was very young when we arrived in October of 1976.
“The Lisbon community embraced us and helped our whole family thrive. Over the years we were fortunate to be able to grow and invest in Casselton, Mayville, Hillsboro, and Milnor, publishing their long-standing strong community newspapers. Thank you to the business communities, readers and, most importantly, our amazing staff who have supported us and enabled us to publish the best papers possible for each of these communities.
“We are excited to see the positive changes that NorDak will bring to the papers with fresh ideas and technology. New owner Louis Mullen and publisher Kelsey Majeske both share our primary ideology, that each paper needs to be a reflection of its community through its local staff. We are confident that they will be embraced and will thrive because of this. Like our long-standing subscribers, we are looking forward to reading the news when the paper hits the stands each week. Thank you for 43 wonderful years.”