RISN buys The Union Democrat in Sonora, California


Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers, or RISN, bought The Union Democrat and its downtown building in Sonora, California, July 31 after a federal bankruptcy judge approved the sale for $1.5 million.

The twice-weekly paper had been owned since 1998 by Western Communications, which filed for bankruptcy in January.

Dirks, Van Essen, Murray & April, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico represented Western Communications in the transaction.

RISN and its affiliates operate six other newspapers in California, including the Bakersfield Californian, Porterville Recorder, Marysville Appeal-Democrat, Imperial Valley Press, Lodi News-Sentinel and the Antelope Valley Press.

Earlier in July, Western Communications sold two Oregon papers, the La Grande Observer and the Baker City Herald to EO Media Group, which was approved by a bankruptcy court as the buyer for two other of Western’s Oregon papers, the flagship

Bend Bulletin and the Redmond Spokesman.

Also in July, Western sold the Brookings (Oregon) Curry Coastal Pilot and Crescent City (California) Del Norte Triplicate to Country Media.