Red Wing, MN - December 17, 2020 - Forum Communications Co. has sold RiverTown Multimedia, which publishes the weekly Red Wing (MN) Republican Eagle and weekly Hudson (WI) Star-Observer newspapers, to O’Rourke Media Group.
Dirks, Van Essen & April, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented Forum Communications in the transaction. Terms were not disclosed.
Readers will not see immediate changes to the print and digital editions after the transition takes effect January 1, 2021, O’Rourke Media Group CEO Jim O’Rourke said. Additional details and future plans will be shared in the coming weeks.
“We’re excited about figuring out new and better ways to serve our readers and our advertisers,” O’Rourke said.
RiverTown’s existing seven-member newsroom and three members of its advertising sales department will join O’Rourke Media Group.
The sale does not include the RiverTown office and production facility in Red Wing, which will permanently close at the end of January.
The family-owned and operated O’Rourke Media Group launched in 2018 and has acquired community publications in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Vermont, and Arizona, including the recent purchase of the Cannon Falls (MN) Beacon.
Forum Communications, based in Fargo, MN, purchased Red Wing Publishing Co.’s RiverTown division in 2001. FCC reorganized the RiverTown group in 2019 to form two publications and the unified rivertowns.net website with the mergers of the Red Wing Republican Eagle and Pierce County Herald; and Hudson Star-Observer, River Falls Journal and New Richmond News.
RiverTown’s The Bulletin and Hastings Star Gazette newspapers were closed earlier this spring due in part to economic impacts caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to company officials.
Forum Communications owns and operates more than 20 publication titles, including newspapers and websites in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.