Kavanagh family sells four Montana newspapers to Ponderosa Publications

Press release | Cribb, Cope & Potts

A century of ownership of the Kavanagh newspaper has come to an end. Brian and LeAnne Kavanagh sold the Shelby Promoter, along with Cut Bank Pioneer Press, Browning Glacier Reporter and The Valierian to Jesse Mullen and Lloyd Mullen of Ponderosa Publications, LLC according to John Cribb, Cribb, Cope & Potts who represented the Kavanagh family. The sale was effective March 1.

“After 40 years in this business, LeAnne and I decided it was time to slow down and start making a to-do list. We had a great run and feel like we’ve made a difference in communities. we’ve served, but now it’s time for someone with more energy and enthusiasm to take over,” said Brian.

“Like us, Jesse and Lloyd come from a family of journalists and they know and understand how vital a strong and vibrant newspaper presence is to a community. We are confident that we are leaving our logs in good hands,” added LeAnne.

“Lloyd and I are honored that Brian and LeAnne have chosen us to be the new keepers of these diaries,” Jesse said. “We are excited to continue producing award-winning Montana journalism for our readers.”

Ponderosa Publications is affiliated with Mullen Newspaper Company based in Deer Lodge. Mullen Newspaper Company operates three other Montana newspapers, the Silver State Post in Deer Lodge, Philipsburg Mail, and Bitterroot Star in Stevensville.

Brian and LeAnne were the fourth generation of Kavanaghs to own and operate the promoter, dating back to October 1922. They have been a fixture in the Cut Bank community since 1982. They managed the Cut Bank Pioneer Press for the owner of the era, John Kavanagh, working in every position in the paper at one time or another. They bought the Glacier Reporter in 1985, followed by the Shelby Promoter and Cut Bank Pioneer Press in 1995 and The Valierian in 2002.

The Kavanaghs and their staff have won numerous awards from the Montana Newspaper Association and the National Newspaper Association for reporting, column writing, advertising, photography, design and online publishing, as well as coveted awards for General Excellence and General Excellence in Advertising.

Brian and LeAnne were honored by the Montana Newspaper Association as Master Editors in 2008. LeAnne has earned a reputation as a “watchdog” for holding local governments to account and being a voice for freedom of information, open meetings and the public’s right to know.

The couple received the MNA President’s Award in 2007 for their efforts to promote and protect the public’s right to know, following a successful lawsuit against the Cut Bank School District in a right to know case, which clarified the Montana Supreme Court’s infamous Fleenor decision. . The clarification ensured continued access for the press and citizens to Montana’s justice system to assert their rights to open and transparent government.

Brian and LeAnne were both honored as Outstanding Citizens of the Year by the Cut Bank Area Chamber of Commerce, LeAnne in 1992 and Brian in 2012.

Jesse and his wife, Sasha, reside at Deer Lodge with their children, five dogs, three horses and a geriatric mule. Jesse and Sasha own the Browsing Bison group of bookstores in southwestern Montana.

Jesse has been involved with newspapers since he got his start as a paperboy at the Sioux City Journal, often with the help of then-four-year-old Lloyd.

Lloyd and his wife Karen live in Port Townsend, Washington, with their two dogs. Lloyd owns the Port Townsend Leader. Both Mullen brothers attended the University of Wyoming.

The Kavanaghs were represented by John Cribb of Cribb, Cope & Potts. CCP is a leading merger and acquisition firm with offices in Montana, California and Arkansas.

“We have been very fortunate to serve our readers for 40 years and are grateful for the support we have received. The rural Montana way of life that we take for granted is something more and more people are looking for and we are excited to continue to invest in the future of this region – just in a different way,” explained LeAnne. .

The Kavanaghs recently opened Tee to Green, an indoor golf simulation business in Cut Bank and are looking forward to making it another successful and fun business venture.