- Associated Press - Thursday, April 13, 2017

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - Lee Enterprises has bought the free alternative weekly newspaper the Missoula Independent.

Lee already owns Missoula’s daily newspaper, the Missoulian, along with the Billings Gazette, the Ravalli Republic, the Independent Record of Helena and the Montana Standard of Butte.

The Independent is distributed in Missoula, Ravalli and Lake counties. It began publishing in 1991 and publisher Matt Gibson has owned it since 1997.

Lee Enterprises‘ vice president of publishing Mike Gulledge says the weekly newspaper will be editorially independent from the Missoulian.

He tells the Missoulian (https://bit.ly/2pyTrWw ) that Gibson will remain the Independent’s publisher and its other employees will be able to keep their jobs.

Gibson says the acquisition will allow both the Independent and Lee to maximize their resources to deliver strong local reporting and expand their audiences.

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