Newspaper in Three Rivers Saved By Last-Minute Deal, New Owner Announced
What a difference a week makes!
Nearly one week after news broke that local Southwest Michigan publisher Three Rivers Commercial Inc. was going out of business, it turns out that is no longer the case and residents will in fact see future editions of the newspaper published.
Originally, Three Rivers Commercial-News Editor and Publisher Dirk Milliman said the company's current financial situation forced the decision to cease operations citing a diminishing revenue, lack of advertising clientele, social media, and the Covid-19 pandemic as reasons for the sudden closure.
The last edition of the newspaper was set to be published on Saturday, December 10. Subscribers were told to expect their newspaper to be delivered as usual and in lieu of refunds, the remaining balance of their pre-paid subscription fee would be donated to one of two local charities: Three Rivers Area Community Foundation or Three Rivers Promise.
Why the Sudden Change?
In his original statement regarding the closure of the newspaper, Milliman said,
We have been shopping for a new owner for several years...But the people and the groups who used to buy local newspapers aren’t buying them anymore. And no one local seemed inclined to buy this long-standing local business.
However, it turns out there is someone in the market for a local newspaper business: Mike Wilcox.
Who is Mike Wilcox?
Upon hearing this most recent update regarding Commercial-News, I thought this name sounded familiar. Do you recognize it?
Mike Wilcox owns Wilcox Newspapers, a local media group that publishes periodicals such as the Paw Paw Flashes, the Union Enterprise in Otsego/Plainwell, and the Allegan County News.
I'm not sure why this was such a last-minute purchase as it seems a natural fit to bring this long-standing Three Rivers publication under the Wilcox Newspaper wing!
What Happens Next?
A since-disappeared Facebook post explained that Wilcox plans to restart publication of the newspaper Friday, December 16 and believes the key to Commercial-News' future success will come from switching to a twice-weekly newspaper to only publishing one a week on Fridays.
What remains unchanged is the publisher's address, business hours, and phone number. Former News Director Robert Tomlinson will return as well.
Those who had valid subscriptions with Three Rivers Commercial-News after 12/11,
...will automatically have their subscriptions reinstated. As compensation for fewer publishing days, their subscriptions will be extended for one year, free of charge.