Last Minute Offers May Keep Alaska Newspapers Alive

Some rural Alaskan communities might not lose their newspapers after all.

Last week, the Calista Corporation put out a statement that they were liquidating Alaska Newspapers, Incorporated, a publisher of a handful of weeklies across the state. But since making that announcement, the Native corporation has started to receive offers for ANI assets.

Margaret Nelson, ANI’s president and publisher, is tight-lipped on the number of offers the company has received, and which assets have attracted the most interest. It’s also unclear whether the company will find a buyer for any of the newspapers before they shut down their printing press. ANI decided yesterday that their final publications as a company will come out in mid-August, but that they will continue to employ staff through the end of the month.

That’s a tight timeline, but Nelson hopes negotiations will be speedy.

She adds that the Calista Corporation did look for buyers before deciding to close up ANI, but that nothing viable came together. She says that the company also made a few last-minute management decisions in an effort to save the papers — like deciding to use on-site reporters – but it was difficult to come up with an effective strategy for a rural newspaper chain in the current media environment.

ANI’s papers include the Dutch Harbor Fisherman, the Arctic Sounder, the Tundra Drums, Bristol Bay Times, Cordova Times, and the Seward Phoenix LOG.

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