Denfeld News

Feb. 3, 2010
Business North

BusinessNorth sale pending

Two veteran journalists with deep roots in the region and close ties to BusinessNorth are buying the news monthly and its online edition in a sale scheduled to close April 1.

The new owners will be former managing editor Ronald Brochu, 55, and BusinessNorth reporter Beth Bily, 42.

"Ron and Beth have highly complementary talents related to news management, reporting and advertising sales," said owner Wayne Nelson, who founded BusinessNorth in 1992 and launched its online Web edition,, in 1999.

"I think we've built a solid reputation as a watchdog and advocate for the region's economy, its entrepreneurs and the overall business community. There have never been more opportunities to build on that record. With their deep knowledge of this region, this is the perfect team to take BusinessNorth into that future," he said.

Brochu and Bily said Nelson, 65, will remain as editor through the transition.
"Ron and I are excited to take the reins of what has evolved into a highly respected business news organization serving Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin," Bily said. "Wayne will continue to provide his insights and nose for news, and the transition will be a smooth one."

The Indiana native served as editor of the Grand Rapids Herald-Review during the period 2002-2006, and has worked as a freelance writer and editor for several newspapers and other publications in the region. She has become a full-time BusinessNorth reporter with the pending purchase.

Brochu edited trade journals at Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich and later was managing editor at BusinessNorth from 1995-97. The Duluth native and UMD School of Business graduate moved on to serve as Northwest Wisconsin business reporter and then city editor at the Duluth News Tribune. He was transferred to the Superior Daily Telegram as newsroom trainer and executive editor in 2006.

"Beth and I are bullish on this region's economic future, and it will continue to need this sort of journalism," he said. "We want BusinessNorth to play a larger role in covering and helping to shape the region's business climate."

In addition to the online edition, and a print edition reaching 21,000 readers in 17 area counties, BusinessNorth publishes an annual Directory of Business & Industry.

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