PRAIRIE DU CHIEN – The Courier Press in Prairie du Chien has changed ownership after four generations and 108 years under the Howe family name.
Morris Newspaper Corporation of Wisconsin purchased the Courier, The Trader shopper, as well as their three sister publications in northeast Iowa: North Iowa Times in McGregor, Guttenberg Press in Guttenberg, and Clayton County Register in Elkader.
The acquisition was finalized Tuesday, April 30, from Gary Howe, longtime owner of Mississippi Valley Printers. MNC took over operations Wednesday, May 1. Howe will remain at the company as general manager of the five publications for one year until his retirement.
“We’re going to keep on keeping on and we’re going to have fun. We care about our product, our newspaper family and our community,” Howe said. “We, as a family, bought community newspapers, and retaining that family feel to them was nice. Having a company with the wherewithal to buy us and hopefully continue that investment is important.”
MNC of Wisconsin owns newspapers in Lancaster, Platteville, Fennimore, Boscobel, Gays Mills, Cuba City, Darlington, Richland Center, Muscoda and Monroe. With the addition of these four publications, the group has grown to include 14 newspapers and four shoppers. Both weekly newspaper groups will join forces in continuing to serve the small communities across the region.
The former Mississippi Valley Printers group will move forward with producing its own newspapers in office, and printing of the four papers and shopper will be done in Calmar, Iowa, as it has been. From there, papers are expected to be mailed out to subscribers and placed on newsstands as usual.
“We see this as a wonderful fit with our group of weekly newspapers in southern Wisconsin,” said MNC of Wisconsin Regional Publisher John Ingebritsen, who has been with MNC of Wisconsin since it began operations in this region in 2002. “We understand the weekly newspaper business and we value the relationship with the communities we serve.”