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Minnesota Sun Newspapers-American Community Newspapers LLC has acquired the Monticello Times and Sunday Shopper from Donald and Nancy Smith, according to John Cribb, Cribb & Associates, LLC, who represented the seller in the transaction.

The Monticello Times is a 3,300 paid weekly, The Sunday Shopper is delivered to a wide area of 26,000 homes in Wright and Sherburne Counties. The publications in Monticello serve a rapidly expanding residential, commercial and industrial population along the high-growth I-94 freeway corridor between the Twin Cities and St. Paul. Over 1,000 new deliveries of the Monticello Shopper have been annually added to assure delivery to all new homes in the Monticello-Big Lake area.

ACN is a group of 67 weekly suburban newspapers, 2 daily newspapers and 3 niche publications, and operates as three distinct newspaper clusters with a combined weekly circulation of approximately 900,000 homes. The groups are located in Minneapolis – St. Paul (Sun Newspapers), Kansas City (Sun Publications) and in the northern Dallas region (Star Community Newspapers).

With this acquisition, the Minnesota Group is comprised of 43 weekly newspapers, one daily newspaper and operates in the area as Sun Newspapers, The Stillwater Daily Gazette, Osseo Sun Press, Waconia Sun Patriot and Stearns County Publishing with a combined weekly circulation of approximately 464,000 homes.

ACN – Kansas City Group, which is comprised of 10 weekly newspapers, publishes the weekly Kansas City Jewish Chronicle and Kansas City Nursing News, the monthly St. Louis Nursing News and a variety of Chamber of Commerce Guides and annual area guides of interest. The combined weekly circulation is approximately 215,000 homes.

Star Community Newspapers in Dallas is comprised of one daily newspaper, The Plano Star Courier, and 14 weekly and twice weekly newspapers with a combined circulation of approximately 250,000 homes, which serve the fast growing areas of Collin and Denton Counties.

Gene Carr commented, “We are privileged to be able to continue the outstanding work of journalism and the commitment that in serving the needs of readers, advertisers and other community constituents that the Monticello Times has done so well. Together American Community Newspapers have been awarded over 75 awards in journalism, marketing and sales during the past 12 months. American Community Newspapers has an aggressive plan to acquire and start new newspapers in Minnesota, the other markets that we operate in as well as entering into new major metropolitan markets. The Monticello Times is a great newspaper that fits well within our acquisition strategy.”

“When the day for parting (after 34 years with the Times) came, we were fortunate that American Community Newspapers expressed interest,” Smith said. “Our negotiations have been genuine and mutually beneficial. It was important for us that their leaders share in our optimism about Monticello’s future and the role their newspaper will have in shaping this community. ACN/Sun’s papers immediately to the east of us have been our good neighbors for all the years I’ve been publisher. Their advertising reach along the freeway, all the way to the northwest suburbs, will expand with the Monticello publications. The opportunities for our advertisers will be greater than ever with their acquisition.”

Cribb & Associates is an eighty-two year old newspaper brokerage firm with offices in Montana, Florida and Virginia.

Published May 31, 2005

Monticello, MN