The Skagway News in Alaska is giving away the newspaper for free…
The Skagway News in Alaska is giving away the newspaper for free…and when they say the newspaper, they mean the entire business. Skagway News owner Larry Persily is ready to hand the paper over to the right person for no cost at all, on the condition that they live in Skagway. Persily bought the paper less than one year ago, but after the editor gave their notice, he decided the paper was perhaps better operated by someone living in the town of Skagway – Persily had been operating it from Anchorage, a road distance of over 1000 kilometres.
Persily believes that the paper might be better run by someone working as the owner, the editor, and part of the community. He says that he first got his start in journalism in 1976 when he and his late wife bought the weekly newspaper in Wrangell, Alaska and wants to give that same opportunity to someone with the Skagway News. Despite the interesting opportunity, Persily is reminding prospective owners that the paper is not exactly a money-maker and says the entire newspaper business in North America is financially sketchy.
The paper originally began under the name Skaguay News in 1897 during the Klondike Gold Rush, and covered the news at the time, such as the shooting death of gangster Soapy Smith in 1898. The Paper at the time was short lived and shut down in 1904 but was revived in 1978, and has been a Skagway staple since then. Currently it is released twice monthly and has a circulation of around 500 (not bad in a town of less than 1000). The paper also publishes the visitor guide for the throngs of cruise ship passengers. Persily says 110,000 copies were distributed last summer.
Persily says running the paper is a lot of work but is excited to hear from anyone that has a serious interest in taking over the paper. He is hoping to transfer the paper as soon as January and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.