ADN owners buy 3 more Alaska newspapers

On Aug. 14, 2017, the sidewalk near the corner of Front and Seward streets had one of the few Alaska Dispatch News vending machines in Juneau. In September that year, the paper was purchased and later rebranded back to the Anchorage Daily News. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

The Anchorage Daily News’ owners have bought three other small Alaska newspapers.

That’s according to Jason Evans, the former owner of those papers: the Arctic Sounder, Bristol Bay Times/Dutch Harbor Fisherman and Homer Tribune. All three were published by Evans’ company, Alaska Media, LLC.

Evans said he also gave up an ownership interest in the ADN. He said the separation was amicable and that the papers will mutually benefit.

“I think there’s just more synergies of doing the sale, and allowing them to be merged into the Anchorage Daily News operations,” Evans said. “You know, just a team of really highly qualified people to kind of focus not just on their own newspapers but also on ours. And so I thought it was just a great fit going forward to continue to provide community news out into these rural regions.”

Evans said his newspapers and the ADN had maintained content sharing agreements for years, pre-dating the Binkley Company’s purchase of the ADN in 2017. Evans declined to disclose dollar figures and circulation numbers.

“We also kind of kept things a little quiet until we figured out what the plan was,” Evans said. “And as the plan came together, you know, I shared it with folks on my team. I think they’re excited to be a part of a larger news organization with additional resources that we as a small company didn’t have.”

Evans said he’s thankful and that it’s been an honor to serve the communities over the last eight years.

ADN CEO Ryan Binkley could not be reached for comment but was quoted in the ADN:

“Our family is thrilled to add the Arctic Sounder, the Bristol BayTimes/Dutch Harbor Fisherman and the Homer Tribune to the ADN’s lineup of publications. These kind of community publications are so vital to life in the areas they cover, and being part of a larger organization will help ensure they have the resources they need to continue the important work they’re doing. Life in these communities is unique, and they deserve a healthy and robust source of local news.”

The Binkley Company also owns the Alaska Journal of Commerce and the Chugiak-Eagle River Star.

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Jeremy Hsieh is the deputy managing editor of the KTOO newsroom in Juneau. He’s a podcast fiend who’s worked in journalism since high school as a reporter, editor and television producer. He ran Gavel Alaska for 360 North from 2011 to 2016, and is big on experimenting with novel tools and mediums (including the occasional animated gif) to tell stories and demystify the news. Jeremy’s an East Coast transplant who moved to Juneau in 2008.

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