Headlight-Herald ownership to change

Effective April 1, Tara Brandl and Per Peterson will be the new owners of the Tracy Headlight-Herald. Combined, the pair has been in the newspaper industry for more than 40 years.

Per Peterson, Tara Brandl taking over newspaper, effective April 1

Tracy’s longest established family-owned business will soon be operating under new ownership.
Seth Schmidt and Jim Keul, Tracy Publishing owners, announce the sale of the Tracy Headlight-Herald to a partnership formed by two local people, Per Peterson and Tara Brandl.
The change of ownership becomes effective April 1.
“Tara and Per are well qualified to carry on the Headlight’s strong community newspaper traditions,” said Schmidt.
Keul said that he and Schmidt are pleased to be selling the newspaper to experienced people with strong local ties.
“We look forward to growing with the community of Tracy,” said Brandl.
Peterson has served as the Headlight’s editor since January 2017, after a 26-year career with the Marshall Independent.
Brandl has been employed at the Independent since 2003, and has been the daily newspaper’s advertising manager since 2005.
Both have local roots. Peterson, a Tracy native and 1990 Tracy Area High School graduate, lives on Lake Maria with his daughter, Olivia (16), on land that has been in his family for more than a century.
Brandl grew up on a farm west of Balaton and lives in Tracy with her three children, Brady (12), Ben (10) and Natalie (7). She is a graduate of Southwest State University in Marshall.
Schmidt said he and Keul chose to sell to Peterson and Brandl, rather than pursue a sale to an outside newspaper chain, because they felt that local ownership will best serve the community.
“We consider the Headlight-Herald to be a community institution. We wanted the newspaper to be in the hands of people who care for the community, and can carry on its traditions many years into the future,” said Schmidt.
Brandl and Peterson have formed a new company — Above The Fold Publishing, LLC. — which will publish not only the Headlight-Herald, but also all related publications such as the Shopper Plus and The Sailor. They will continue to be a part of the Southwestern Peach group and the Lyon County Newspaper Association.
While they do plan some changes, the new owners say there will also foster a strong continuity during the transition.
“Tracy Publishing has an outstanding group of employees,” Brandl said.
Schmidt and Keul thank all Tracy Publishing’s past employees, as well as the community for its outstanding support through the years.
The sale does not include the newspaper office and apartment building at 207 Fourth St. But Brandl and Peterson will continue to operate the business at the location.

See this week’s Headlight-Herald, for more on this article.