Writings and observations

The Alfords

You don’t see a lot of this kind of thing happening much anymore: A family business, in which the father turns over the shop to the son (or, in some cases, daughter). Yeah, there was a story in this morning’s Oregonian about just that, in the case of the Red Coach Restaurant in downtown Portland. But newspapers . . . do families still own them anymore?

A few do, one of the classier around being the Alford family, which owns the daily newspapers at Lewiston (the Tribune) and Moscow (the Daily News) in north-central Idaho. Today, a sea change: A.L. “Butch” Alford (and one of the more personable as well as steely publishers you’ll find in the business), who has been publisher at Lewiston for 40 years, turns over the store to his son, Nathan.

It’s a tough business these days, and the Lewiston operation has not been immune from the cutbacks that so many other newspapers have had in recent years. But you have to suspect that these local owners will hold things together better than most.

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