Weekly Hillsboro Banner gets new owner, old editor back
Long-time editor Neil O. Nelson is back in the saddle at the Hillsboro (N.D.) Banner after a change of ownership. The Banner is the state's oldest weekly, dating to 1879, and Nelson might be North Dakota's most-traveled editor of weeklies. "I've ...
Long-time editor Neil O. Nelson is back in the saddle at the Hillsboro (N.D.) Banner after a change of ownership.
The Banner is the state's oldest weekly, dating to 1879, and Nelson might be North Dakota's most-traveled editor of weeklies.
"I've been in Grafton, Langdon, Rolla, New Town, Watford City, Garrison, Hettinger," he said Tuesday night at the office.
His last job before coming to the Banner circa 1999 was at the Steele County Press in Finley.
After 12 years running the Banner, he was let go in April; another employee, too, was dismissed at the time.
Kelly Ink in Lisbon, which owns several other papers in the state, owned the Banner for nine years and sold it effective Friday to a partnership called Sub-Zero Press of Hillsboro.
One of the new owners' first moves was hiring back Nelson, who graduated from high school in Hillsboro just short of a half-century ago.
"I started my career in newspapers at the Banner when I was a junior in high school in 1962," Nelson said.
In a news release, previous owner Sean Kelly said he's confident the new owners will carry on the long and award-winning tradition of the Banner.
Kelly owns several North Dakota weeklies, including the Traill County Tribune in Mayville, about 14 miles up the Goose River, as the crow flies from Hillsboro.
The new shareholders of the Banner include Hillsboro residents Cory Erickson and Cole and Alyssa Short.
Erickson was shooting photos for the paper at a basketball game Tuesday night and didn't have much time to talk about the purchase.
But one big change will be more than black and white, Nelson said.
"We will have full color," he said of the paper that comes out every Friday.
The ownership change means instead of being printed in Casselton with other Kelly properties, the Banner now will be printed by Morgan Printing in Grafton, where the Steele County Press and other weeklies from the region are printed, Nelson said.
The Banner has a circulation of about 1,500, equivalent to nearly the entire population of Hillsboro, which is about 1,600, and has the market possibilities of being halfway between Grand Forks and Fargo.
Nelson said he has been tending bar part-time while managing the local Vets club and will continue such news-gathering.
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