Ted and Kari Jo Almen, owners of Village Ink, of Kerkhoven, Minnesota, have reached an agreement with Kim and Michael Hawkenson to purchase the 6,500-circulation weekly newspaper. The purchase became effective May 26.
The Lakes Area Review is a free-distribution community weekly serving New London, Spicer and the surrounding area. While operating under various names, the roots of the Review goes back to the late 1800s when New London was served by the New London Times, and Spicer by the Green Lake Breeze.
The Almens’ Village Ink also publishes the Kerkhoven Banner, the Clara City Herald and the Raymond-Prinsburg News. Ted Almen is a third generation publisher and their daughter, Jordan, recently joined the business to become the fourth generation of Almens to be involved in journalism.
Julie Bergman of WB Grimes and Company represented the Hawkensons in the sale of their newspaper.
“We are very happy and excited to make this acquisition, and to be welcomed by the Review staff,” said Ted Almen. “The New London-Spicer area has long held an attraction to us due to its natural beauty and bustling local economy. Our aim is to continue the strong tradition of community journalism which publisher Kim Hawkenson and her staff have provided for the readership of the Review.”
Of note, there are no changes in personnel planned with this acquisition, and Kim Hawkenson will continue with the company part-time as an assistant to the publisher which should ensure a smooth transition.
“We have tossed around a few ideas that we may implement into the paper once we get established,” said Ted Almen, “but nothing major at this time. The most significant thing we are considering is a name change to better reflect the communities of New London and Spicer in the flag of the newspaper, with an eye on the historical aspect of the publication.”