A  104-year-old weekly newspaper serving the Laurel and Park City areas has been acquired by the Livingston-based Yellowstone Newspapers group.


The Laurel Outlook was acquired by the group effective October 1, according to an announcement this week by the group’s president, John Sullivan of Livingston.


Founded in 1909, the Outlook has been owned and operated for the past 30 years by Milt and Gloria Wester.  During their tenure, the Westers have garnered many awards for  the quality of their  news and advertising coverage, and they were honored as the Montana Newspaper Association’s “Master Newspaper Publisher” in 2002.  With the sale of the paper and its associated publications, they  plan to retire.


“We are delighted to have this opportunity to carry on the fine community journalism tradition established by the Westers,” Sullivan said, “and we congratulate them on their long service to our state and profession. We promise to continue to serve the Laurel community with the high standards we have set throughout our Montana newspaper family.”


As with the group’s other newspapers, The Outlook will continue to function with a local staff and management, Sullivan said. A new publisher for the Laurel office is in the process of being recruited, he said.


In addition to the weekly  newspaper, The Outlook operates a full-service website, LaurelOutlook.com, and  publishes the Welcome! Visitor Guide, a free-distribution publication circulated for visitors to the Laurel-Billings area, as well as The Explorer recreation magazine and an assortment of maps and other specialty publications. The Outlook also serves the greater Laurel area with a variety of commercial printing services.


Yellowstone Newspapers was formed in 1965, and is the largest Montana-based group of newspapers in the state. In addition to the Outlook, the group includes the Big Horn County News in Hardin, Big Timber Pioneer, Carbon County News in Red Lodge, Forsyth Independent Press, Dillon Tribune, Glendive Ranger Review, Judith Basin Press in Stanford, Lewistown News-Argus, Livingston Enterprise, Miles City Star, Stillwater County News in Columbus, and Terry Tribune, as well as radio station KATL-AM in Miles City, commercial  printing facilities and office equipment and supply outlets in several of its newspaper communities. It also includes the Billings Area News Group, BANG, an advertising sales agency serving the Billings area.