The auction lasted 15 minutes Monday and ended with the EO Media Group buying the Bend Bulletin.
The $3.65 million winning bid also covered the price for the Bulletin‘s sister newspaper, the Redmond Spokesman.
EO Media Group beat two out-of-state competitors, Adams Publishing Group out of Greeneville, Tennessee, and Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers Inc., which did not send a representative to the auction but made almost $68,000 on the sale.
Heidi Wright, EO Media Group’s chief operating officer, said the the company appreciates the opportunity to continue Oregon ownership of the Bulletin and Redmond Spokesman.
“It’s reassuring for the future of community newspapers when a small independent company like EO Media Group can prevail, even when going up against the big companies that are buying up newspapers nonstop around the country,” she said.
Western Communications, the Bulletin‘s former parent company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January and is selling all of its assets. EO Media Group bought two of those assets in June at auction — The Observer in La Grande and the Baker City Herald. The Bulletin and Spokesman acquisitions bring the company’s total number of newspapers and journals to 14. Wright explained why the purchases make sense for the family-owned business.
“First, the vibrant economy of Central Oregon, coupled with a fresh start for the Bulletin and Redmond Spokesman, bodes well for the future of these newspapers,” she said. “Second, we believe readers in Central Oregon will support our mission of producing content that is relevant, credible and reflective of the communities we serve.”
Kathryn B. Brown, vice president of EO Media Group, credited Bend locals for support.
“We appreciate the assistance of so many in the Bend community who encouraged us to consider the acquisition of the Bulletin and the Redmond Spokesman, and who were willing to support us in our efforts,” she said. “It quickly became clear to our board that these newspapers are an excellent investment for our company, and are a good fit with our operations throughout Oregon.”
Bend Mayor Sally Russell in a letter expressed her personal support for the EO Media Group to prevail.