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Cook County News-Herald has been sold

Dec 04, 2020 05:34AM ● By Editor

Hal and Deidre Kettunen have sold the Cook County News-Herald to CherryRoad Technologies. The Kettunens have agreed to work for a month to help with the transition and then look forward to moving back home to Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Staff photo/Brian Larsen


By Brian Larsen of The Cook County News Herald - December 4, 2020


It’s true; the Cook County News-Herald has been sold.

CherryRoad Technologies CEO Jeremy Gulban finalized the purchase of the Cook County News-Herald on November 24, 2020. This marks a new beginning for the 129-year-old newspaper.

Hal and Deidre Kettunen have owned the newspaper since 2008. Both agreed to stay on for a month to help with the transition.

Gulban will act as executive publisher but leave day-to-day operations in the hands of Brian Larsen, current editor.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Gulban said the newspaper would be active in supporting the community.

Located in Morris Plains, New Jersey, CherryRoad Technologies is part of the information technology service industry. It provides system integration, consulting, hosting, and cloud services to healthcare, entertainment, higher education, service markets, and government agencies. The company was founded on June 20, 2006.

When asked about the new acquisition, Gulban responded,

“CherryRoad is truly excited for the opportunity to be the next generation of owners of this important community asset. We are committed to continuing the legacy of the Cook County News-Herald long into the future, and we appreciate the Kettunen family for trusting us with that responsibility.”

“CherryRoad has a successful track record of enabling technologies that play an important role in the ‘digital fabric’ of the community and we look forward to using our technology to enhance the online experience of the Cook County News-Herald in the coming months.”

Asked what was next for the Kettunens, Hal replied, “It’s been a pleasure serving the community and subscribers and advertisers over these 20 plus years. Everyone will be missed very much. I have many memories, even when I worked for my parents, Ken and Phylis Kettunen, in the early eighties after serving in the Air Force for four years.

“The newspaper was in our blood and still is. We will be moving on to a new endeavor, another chapter in our lives.

“We wish Jeremy Gulban, the new owner of the Cook County News-Herald, the very best. Jeremy will take the News- Herald to a new and better direction with all the latest and exciting possibilities of what online technology can do for subscribers and advertisers.

“Thanks for all the support throughout the years.”

Hal and Deidre Kettunen, Publishers.

Cook County Chronology of Newspaper Owners/Publishers

1891-On May 30, A. DeLacy Wood publishes the first issue of the Grand Marais Pioneer. Woods was a roving newspaperman who founded several other newspapers, including the Ely Iron Dynamo.

1893- Chris Murphy purchases the paper and renames it the Cook County Herald.

1906- On October 6, J.A. Blackwell starts a competing paper, The Grand Marais News.

1907- On December 19, Blackwell buys out Murphy and consolidates the paper under its current banner, the Cook County News-Herald.

1912- Matt Johnson purchases the paper from Blackwell.

1920- Blackwell buys the paper back from Johnson.

1928- Ade Toftey and Benjamin Hubert Scott purchase the paper from Blackwell.

1932- Toftey and Scott lease the paper to Frank Raff.

1936- Toftey returns to publish the paper. Scott remains a partner, but is not active in producing the paper.

1971- Toftey and Scott sell the News-Herald to Dick and Betty Base.

1980- Ken and Phyllis Kettunen purchase the paper from the Bases.

1989- Jack and Patti Becklund purchase the paper from the Kettunens.

1996- Steve Fernlund purchased the paper from the Becklunds.

1999- Murphy-McGinnis Media bought the paper from the Fernlunds. One year later, Hal Kettunen left to start the Cook County Star. Murphy-McGinnis Media sold the News-Herald to Superior Publishing.

2008- Hal and Deidre Kettunen purchased the Cook County News-Herald and shortly after discontinued the Cook County Star.

2020- CherryRoad Technology purchased the Cook County News-Herald from Hal and Deidre Kettunen.

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