Newspaper in Drayton, North Dakota, finds buyer

Lesa Van Camp, outgoing owner, publisher and editor of Valley News & Views, announced the change in ownership in the June 2 issue of Valley News & Views.

Valley News and Views Buyer.jpg
The first issue of Valley News and Views under new publisher Andrea Johnston (left) and owners Diane Simmons and Bob Simmons (right) will be published on June 16, 2022. Outgoing owner, publisher and editor Lesa Van Camp (second to left) announced the change in ownership on June 2.
Contributed / Lesa Van Camp
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DRAYTON, N.D. – Valley News & Views, the newspaper of Drayton, North Dakota, has been bought by Bob and Diane Simmons, owners of Simmons Multimedia Stations and the Borderland Press. The first issue of the paper under the new ownership will be published on June 16.

Lesa Van Camp, outgoing owner, publisher and editor of Valley News & Views, announced the change in ownership in the June 2 issue of Valley News & Views. On May 5, she had announced she would be closing the paper after the June 2 issue if a buyer was not found.

Van Camp told the Herald that knowing Valley News & Views would not close was a relief.

“I’m ecstatic because no town should ever lose their paper,” she said. “It’s a good thing for the community and it makes me feel better leaving the industry knowing that this paper will continue and I did not have to close it down.”

I have yet to receive a COLA (cost-of-living adjustment). In my case, that means the check I receive today is worth only 40% of what it was when I started drawing.

Valley News & Views was founded by Van Camp’s husband and mother-in-law, Lyle and Roberta Van Camp, in 1982. In 2007, it was sold to Larry Ritzo, and in 2014, Van Camp bought the paper after Ritzo’s death. Valley News & Views is one of many publications that has covered Drayton since the 1880s.


Simmons Multimedia runs eight radio stations and two television stations across northeast North Dakota, Southern Manitoba and Northwest Minnesota. In December 2021, Bob and Diane Simmons launched the Borderland Press after the Cavalier County Republican, a weekly newspaper based in Langdon, North Dakota, closed. Valley News & Views will be their second newspaper in northeast North Dakota.

“The paper enjoys a solid circulation and advertiser base, and we look forward to carrying on the tradition of great reporting and standards set forth by Lesa and her team,” said Diane Simmons, co-owner of Simmons Multimedia and The Borderland Press in the Valley News & Views announcement.

Andrea Johnston is the new publisher of Valley News & Views, and is building a news team in the weeks leading up to the ownership change, said Van Camp’s announcement.

Van Camp, who is leaving Valley News & Views for health reasons, said people were understanding of her decision to close the paper, but were disappointed in the situation. Since announcing that Valley News & Views had a buyer, readers have expressed to Van Camp how happy they are to continue to have a place to read the local news.

“People are thrilled. They’re absolutely thrilled,” said Van Camp.

Related Topics: NORTH DAKOTA
Ingrid Harbo joined the Grand Forks Herald in September 2021.

Harbo covers Grand Forks region news, and also writes about business in Grand Forks and the surrounding area.

Readers can reach Harbo at 701-780-1124 or Follow her on Twitter @ingridaharbo.
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