Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Tim Franklin
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Franklin says farewell after nearly 17 years in business

 


On the trip to Denver two weeks ago, I got an email about a proposed news release on the possible sale of our family's newspapers.

It listed all the pertinent information on the details of the sale of the papers from our family to the Johnson family, but left two blank spots that said, “Tim quotes.”

Then it hit me. How do you possibly give a quote in a story which is only a few words long explaining almost 17 years of service to the community, along with what my employees and community have meant to me? I compared it to an obituary in which a person’s entire life is whittled down to a few important sentences.

Sixteen and a half years ago, I purchased my first two publications. This past week, I thanked the bank that I first borrowed money from and asked them why they gave money to that young, stupid kid who had a bigger dream than money in the bank.

From Sandstone first, with the Pine County Courier and the Minnesota Flyer, then my wife Mary and I next purchased the Hinckley News, then the Askov American, then the Moose Lake Star Gazette along with the Evergreen Shopper. All of these were acquired in a span of 10 years and while our kids were in school, in activities, and also playing sports. When we moved here all those years ago, the oldest played hockey, and I told her she could play it at the new school too. It was not until I looked at that more closely. When the youngest started to play, I discovered this meant 14 years of driving from Sandstone to Moose Lake in the winter time, along with all directions south, east and west.

We moved here not knowing one person in Pine County. The past few months, as this sale was getting closer, we have been able to count friends in high hundreds between Pine and Carlton counties.

How do I simply print a few sentences on all of the employees we have had over the years? They have helped us print each week, been our friends, and also helped us expand our businesses.

But as I look back, I see all the laughter and smiles over the years, and also the tears. In 17 years, I counted 9 funerals of family members of our newspaper family as well. We have covered countless good events and bad in the community, and also in our own family over this time span.

How do you give a few words to thank all the readers and advertisers who have supported us all these years? Without them, and our employees, there is no such thing as a weekly paper. I know over the last 10 years traditional media, including publicly traded metro papers, have taken a hit. Even the daily paper I worked for in Louisiana closed this past year, and it was the only paper in the parish. All through this time, the community has supported four newspapers in Pine County and up to three papers in Carlton County. Giving a simple thanks is impossible to do.

Why did we sell? We have determined life is too short. On a trip to the North Shore this weekend, we counted seven weeks we had off together in 28 years in the newspaper business. This does not count the 60-70 hours worked per week on average.

We found another newspaper family, the Johnsons, who can continue putting out our publications. This is not a goodbye by any means. I'm working through the transition and will still be around as we have other interests in the area.

We want to slow down. We have come to understand that you never know when it is determined one life is to end and another to start. This has been a blessed 17 years with all of you, and we can't imagine our lives without all of our friends from Carlton to Pine City, who have been there all the way, all these years. We thank you from our hearts, and ask that you support the Johnson family as well. It has been a wonderful ride for all of us.

 

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