This weekend we made a bold first step to ensure the future of the Alaska Dispatch News going forward. At the same time the paper has filed for bankruptcy protection, we’ve entered an agreement to purchase the ADN and immediately take control of the operations of the paper, beginning Sunday.

We are a group of lifelong Alaskans who have come together to save the ADN during this interim time. Our group is led by Ryan Binkley and Jason Evans.

Ryan Binkley was born in Fairbanks and has lived around the state his whole life. He is a fourth-generation riverboat captain who has led his family business in Fairbanks, The Riverboat Discovery and Gold Dredge 8, for the last 11 years.

Jason Evans was born and raised in Nome, is Inupiaq Eskimo, and has also lived in the state his whole life. He is the president of Rural Energy Enterprises, has experience on numerous boards and is the owner of Alaska Media LLC, which owns three newspapers in rural Alaska.

Newspapers across the country are in distress and operating independently in remote Alaska adds to the challenge. We will be working with the talented and dedicated team here at the company, building a winning organization.

The ADN can’t be allowed to go away. It’s too important to the city of Anchorage and to the State of Alaska. Alaska deserves and needs a robust and healthy paper of record as much as it needs any other public utility or infrastructure, particularly in these uncertain times. We grew up reading the ADN and our actions are intended to ensure that our grandchildren can do the same.

Serving the loyal employees, readers and advertisers who depend on the ADN is our highest priority. The ADN depends on you as well, and your support is its greatest asset moving forward.

The ADN will continue its commitment to publish important and relevant news that our readers expect. The people of Alaska and Anchorage will have an award-winning statewide newspaper and we’re committed to building an institution that ensures its future.

Tonight, the new co-publishers, Ryan Binkley and Jason Evans, published this note to readers:

To our readers,

A month ago we committed to loan the ADN up to $1 million for it to continue producing the high-quality journalistic product that the people of Anchorage and Alaska expect. We also hoped that we would be able to purchase the assets of the ADN out of bankruptcy and become the new owners. On Monday a federal bankruptcy court approved the sale effectively transferring ownership.

As the new owners we’ve taken on an obligation to the employees, advertisers and readers that we don’t take lightly. The sale paves the way for a new era at the ADN as we chart our own course.

The ADN is not going away. As owners we vow to do whatever it takes to set Alaska’s paper of record onto a strong foundation that will last for generations. There has been much talk in the last month about the liabilities of the ADN, but not much talk about its greatest asset: the trust and faith of this community.

To our readers we say thank you. Thanks for sticking with us during this uncertain time, thanks for your encouragement and support over the last month, and thanks for your continued support of this vital community institution going forward.

If this last month has taught us anything, it’s how much this newspaper means to the people of Anchorage and Alaska and we promise that with your support it will continue to live up to the standards of professionalism and excellence that you deserve.

Ryan Binkley and Jason Evans are co-publishers of Alaska Dispatch News.

Now that the company has purchased the paper, it must face the very real problem of trying to make the organization solvent. It’s on schedule to lose $8 million this year, so Binkley must find that much in savings just to keep from losing money. It’s hard to see how that happens with a staff of 210.
One way will be to collect the unpaid receivables that keep adding up. Since the company declared bankruptcy last month, those went from just under $1 million owed to the newspaper to more than $1.2 million, as customers and clients just stopped paying their bills, due to the uncertainty about whether the paper would continue.