Two longtime, Duluth-based media organizations with a combined 66 years in existence are now under the same ownership, following the August 31 sale of Lake Superior Magazine and its associated books and merchandising operations to the publishers of BusinessNorth and Scenic Range News Forum.
The glossy magazine has featured beautiful lake-related photography and articles since its first edition — then called Lake Superior Port Cities — in March 1979. The magazine was acquired in 1984 and was renamed Lake Superior Magazine shortly thereafter by Cindy and Paul Hayden.
In addition to publishing six issues a year, the Haydens expanded the brand over the years to include the annual Lake Superior Travel Guide, Lake Superior Circle Tour map, books, merchandise, its LakeSuperior.com and several other websites, e-newsletters and more.
BusinessNorth, which has covered business news in Northern Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin since 1992, has been owned by Beth Bily and Ron Brochu since 2010. The monthly publication is complemented by an annual Directory of Business & Industry, a three times a week e-newsletter and BusinessNorth.com. Bily and Brochu have also owned the weekly Scenic Range News Forum community newspaper in Coleraine since 2013.
“For 36 years, Paul and I have loved working with our talented staff, photographers, contributors and advertisers to bring Lake Superior’s beauty and stories to everyone who cherishes this big lake,” said Cindy Hayden. “We’ve thought about retirement in recent years, but we weren’t going to until we found the perfect fit. Beth and Ron share our passion and we’re excited to leave this business in their experienced hands.”
“Beth and I have long appreciated the Haydens’ dedication to consistently publishing high quality, award-winning products,” said Brochu. “Lake Superior Magazine’s loyal readers and customers won’t notice any changes, because it already serves its readers well. Its focus will continue to be on Lake Superior while BusinessNorth will continue to focus on the region’s entrepreneurs and economy.”
“The demand for niche publications remains strong,” added Bily. “We look forward to meeting our many new subscribers and customers.”
For the past few years, BusinessNorth’s offices have been adjacent to Lake Superior Magazine’s at 310 E. Superior St., which is also the storefront for merchandise sales.
Brochu said BusinessNorth’s six employees and Lake Superior Magazine’s eight employees will all be retained. Cindy and Paul Hayden will be working with them during a transition period.
Lake Superior Magazine has won more than 200 industry awards, including Magazine of the Year from the Minnesota Magazine Publishing Association in 2013.
Financing for the acquisition was through Alerus Bank and the Northeast Entrepreneur Fund.