Grosse Pointe News gets new owner

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Subscribers to Grosse Pointe News, a weekly newspaper serving the five-suburb community on the eastern edge of Wayne County, will notice new names on the masthead on Thursday, as the paper will transition to only the third ownership regime in its 76-year-history.

That's not the only change. The new owners plan on offering "a real editorial page," including "in-house written editorials" and an op-ed page. 

Former owner Robert G. Liggett Jr. sold the paper in for an undisclosed sum to John and Terry Minnis in a private sale. The Minnises, both 62, also own Grosse Pointe Magazine, which they created in May 2010.

John Minnis is a former employee of the  Grosse Pointe News -- from staff writer in 1988 to general manager in 2007 when Liggett bought the paper and decided to install his own management team.

But when time came to sell, Liggett approached the man with long roots at the publication, the man who worked with the paper's previous owners, the Robert Edgar family, to sell to Liggett in 2007.

"Since I used to run it, he thought I'd be a perfect fit for it," Minnis said Saturday. 

Minnis was disappointed to have his editing tenure cut short more than a decade ago. He was in his early 50s, in a tough economy, searching for jobs in a challenged field, newspaper reporting. He freelanced and in time got on staff at the Detroit Legal News.

When Minnis' were driving to Florida on vacation in September 2009, John thought to create a magazine. They got printing quotes and created a business plan and in May 2010, Grosse Pointe Magazine premiered.

Grosse Pointe News has about 21 employees, including three reporters and a sports editor. 

"I hope to use some of the resources of the paper to help with the magazine as well," Minnis said. 

The opinion section will be helmed by Detroit News alum Pete Waldmier, who will be a columnist and opinion editor. John will handle editorial matters, along with "maintaining strong relationships with city leaders." Terry will handle business and sales. 

The first edition under new ownership will be published on August 24. The masthead will bear the name of the paper's founder, Robert B. Edgar, as well as John Minnis (publisher), Terry Minnis (vice president) and Jody McVeigh (editor). 

Grosse Pointe News dates back to Nov. 8, 1940.