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Courier-Herald announces sale to Sound Publishing

The Bonney Lake-Lake Tapps Courier-Herald, which has arrived at every area home for more than four years, is being sold.

An agreement was announced this week in which The Courier-Herald, along with its sister publication in Enumclaw, will be purchased by ever-growing Sound Publishing Inc. The Enumclaw paper, which also serves the Buckley and Black Diamond areas, has been printed for more than 106 years.

Sound Publishing, with headquarters in the Kitsap County community of Poulsbo, is a subsidiary of Black Press, based in British Columbia. The parent organization owns more than 150 newspapers in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, along with Washington, Hawaii and Ohio. The largest papers in the chain are the Akron (Ohio) Beacon and Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

The Courier-Herald newspapers have been owned by a group made up of the estate of Ted Natt, John Natt, David Natt and current publisher Bill Marcum.

Terms of the sale - other than an effective date of April 30 - were not released.

“The Enumclaw and Bonney Lake areas fit very nicely with what we're doing,” said Manfred Tempelmayr, president of Sound Publishing. He termed the new association “a great marriage.”

David Natt echoed that sentiment, noting that his family has a long history with Washington newspapers.

“Journalism is what our family was founded on,” he said, explaining that the sale to Sound Publishing is a move that will keep quality community newspapers alive on the Plateau.

The newspaper industry is ever-evolving, he said, and putting The Courier-Herald papers in Sound Publishing's hands equates to a “life insurance” policy for the weekly editions.

Each edition of The Courier-Herald newspapers reach approximately 32,000 readers, distributed free to homes from Black Diamond to Bonney Lake.

Tempelmayr assured readers there are no immediate plans to change the way they've been receiving their news.

“It's business as usual,” he said. “There should be no significant changes whatsoever.”

Sound Publishing has busily been making inroads throughout the Puget Sound region in recent years. Sound launched newspapers in Sumner, Covington/Maple Valley and Issaquah after purchasing a group of 10 publications from Horvitz Newspapers in November 2006; that large purchase included seven bi-monthly papers, two weekly papers and the daily King County Journal, which was halted. Sound did, however, expand its reach by expanding the smaller, community papers that came with the purchase.

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