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Forum Communications launching new St. Cloud news operation

St. Cloud Live will launch next month, offering a new source of local news and information for the St. Cloud, Minnesota, area. The website will be free to readers.

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St. Cloud Live will launch February 2023.
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ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Forum Communications Co. is expanding its Minnesota footprint, launching a new multimedia brand and news operation in St. Cloud.

St. Cloud Live will launch next month, offering a new source of local news and information for the area. The website, free to readers, also will offer local weather, sports, business and entertainment news.

Two St. Cloud-based reporters — Abdulla Gaafarelkhalifa and Stephanie Dickrell — have been hired, and additional staff will be added in the coming months. Gaafarelkhalifa is currently a reporter at the St. Cloud Times; Dickrell is a former St. Cloud Times reporter. Both will report on news of high interest to St. Cloud and the surrounding area and also will contribute to a weekly newsletter.

The new website has been in the works for several months, but Mary Jo Hotzler, the company’s chief content officer, said the St. Cloud community has been one of great interest for much longer.

Forum Communications is a family-owned media company, based in Fargo, North Dakota, that operates newspapers, websites and TV stations in Minnesota and the Dakotas. Among those are the newspapers in Alexandria , Brainerd and Wilmar , all within a 70-mile radius of St. Cloud.

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The company also has a reporter based in St. Paul, covering state government and the legislative session.

“St. Cloud, from a geographical standpoint, makes sense. But more than that, we are deeply committed to local journalism and see a need in St. Cloud,” Hotzler said.

Forum Communications also recently announced an expansion in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with a site called Sioux Falls Live and the purchase of a TV station. Additionally, the company operates The Rink Live , dedicated to hockey news, player features and analysis in Minnesota and North Dakota for college, juniors and youth hockey. That coverage includes the St. Cloud State Huskies. Rink Live staff members Mick Hatten and Sydney Wolf both live in St. Cloud. The Rink Live and St. Cloud Live will work collaboratively.

To be one of the first people to access the site when it goes public and to receive details on the launch, sign up here .

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