Skagway News is close to finding its new owner, says Alaska publisher selling paper for $0
In Alaska, $0.00 can buy you a gulp of fresh mountain air or it could buy a small bi-weekly newspaper.
The Skagway News — "Serving the Gateway to the Klondike" off and on since 1897, according to the newspaper's motto — is for sale by publisher Larry Persily. He announced the newspaper's sale price of $0 in November and, since then, about 150 potential buyers have inquired.
Persily said Monday he has narrowed the list to six and will likely pick a new owner before year's end. He cited inquiries from as close as Alaska, Washington and Oregon and as far away as Israel and Ukraine.
"Most of them were practicing journalists," he said. "But some are former journalists who left the profession for economic reasons and would like to get back."
Skagway, population 1,150, is one of Alaska's quirkier locales, a place that holds the Guinness World Record for most people in an egg toss and the host of an annual drag show at the Red Onion Saloon. Local police reports will frequently feature "bear activity." Roughly a million ship passengers flood the town annually during Alaskan cruises.
The next Skagway News owner must know these facts but more importantly must be willing to get to know the city on an even deeper level, Persily said.
"I want someone to get the opportunity to do good things with the paper and for the town," he wrote in an op-ed last month. "If that means setting them up in business for free, so be it."
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