The Mobridge (SD) Tribune sold to Leelanau Enterprise, LLC

Mullen buys 3 SD weeklies, shopper from Atkinsons
The Mobridge (SD) Tribune, Potter County News in Gettysburg, the West River Eagle in Eagle Butte and Monday Reminder shopper have been sold to independent publisher J. Louis Mullen of Buffalo, Wyo. Mullen, 33, purchased the newspapers from long-time owners Larry and Roberta Atkinson of Mobridge.

The sale was effective March 29th. The transaction also included the group’s web printing operation, Tribune Quick Print, and the advertising specialty sales operation which are based in Mobridge. Julie Bergman of Grimes, McGovern & Associates represented the sellers.

Larry Atkinson said, “We wish Louis well in his new role as caretakers of our communities’ newspapers. As we have seen what his family has done over the years with the newspapers they publish, we feel confident our community newspapers are in good hands.”

Mullen owns seven other community weekly newspapers ranging from Michigan to Oregon. He and his wife and two young daughters live in Buffalo, Wyo.

“My decision to purchase weekly newspapers is really just a reflection of the owners and staff who came before me,” Mullen said. “Larry and Roberta have put out a great group of newspapers for decades. They’re a service to the community and have helped ensure continued success for the publications.”

Mullen grew up in small communities and his first job was a paperboy for the Sioux City Journal at four years old. “I grew up in the industry,” Mullen said. “My parents moved to Wyoming when I was 10 to run the Newcastle News Letter Journal. From that age, I’ve worked every aspect of the newspaper business. From janitorial services to publisher, I’ve filled every position available.”

The Atkinsons moved to Mobridge in 1981 and Larry became the news and sports editor of the Tribune, which was then owned by Gene and Margy Chamberlin. The Atkinsons started buying stock in the company the next year and in 1993 purchased the remaining stock of the Chamberlins and took over the entire Mobridge Tribune operation.

In 2007, the Atkinsons purchased the Potter County News and West River Eagle from Dave and Carol Clausen.

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