Television personality Maury Povich, host of daytime’s “The Maury Show,” is making his next move in media—in the Flathead.
The Flathead Beacon, funded by Povich, a Bigfork area resident for 10 years, is set to launch online as early as May 17, with a print edition to follow the week afterward. Based in Kalispell, the paper will cover the region from Polson north to Whitefish.
“I really just think he wanted to be attached to good journalism,” says Kellyn Brown, former Bozeman Chronicle city editor and editor of the Beacon, explaining Povich’s decision to invest in Montana media.
According to Brown, Povich will not be involved in the paper’s day-to-day activities.
Povich’s move is not unusual. In 1991, Geraldo Rivera purchased a controlling interest in The Two River Times, a weekly newspaper out of Red Bank, N.J., not far from where he lived. He sold the paper in 2004, after moving out of the area.
Povich is also an investor in New West, an online news source covering the Rocky Mountain West. Beacon publisher Tom Donnelly says Jonathan Weber, founder and editor of New West, has been a consultant for the Beacon, but says there is no formal relationship between the two operations. Donnelly says the Beacon will be a weekly print newspaper, distributing on Wednesdays, and updating daily online.
“It’s going to be a pretty competitive market up there, with all the different weeklies and the Inter Lake,” says University of Montana journalism professor Dennis Swibold.
But he believes the competition will be positive.
“I think the more the merrier, as far as media,” Swibold says. “Diversity, different voices, it’s good for readers.”