After a year on the market, Rick Nelson hasn't had any satisfactory offers for the Malheur County Enterprise, a weekly paper with a circulation of 850. So, he's proposed a trade: He'll sell the newspaper for three dental implants, some cash and a fully restored old pickup.
Nelson made the offer this week in an online ad:
This is your last chance to buy a 105-year-old weekly newspaper in southeast Oregon. I have low- and no-down contract offers, but that's not what I want.
Actually, what I want is a fully restored old pickup, a mid-'70s Volkswagen or an '80s Toyota, to tow behind an RV. That and three dental implants. If there is an oral surgeon/car collector/journalist out there, we can trade.”
"That was about three quarters joking," said Nelson. "There are doctor-lawyers, but I've never heard of a dental-surgeon journalists."
Nelson purchased the paper when he retired in 2006 with the plan to move to Vale full-time. But family circumstances changed, and now the paper's for sale.
Nelson describes himself as a career journalist, having worked for the Seattle Times as a copy editor and later as a music critic.
So, he doesn't want the paper to go to just anyone.
"The trick is finding someone with good journalism experience. I want it to go to the best journalist possible," said Nelson.
Nelson says if he got a serious offer on the dental implant front, he'd be sure to check credentials. But he'd certainly consider a fair trade.
"Well, I'd check them out of course. They'd have to be board-certified and have several hundred implants under their belt," he said.
Nelson says that Malheur County has many interesting stories and issues to report on. Education, poverty, agriculture and environmental issues come up often.
"Even though you're in a small corner of Oregon, journalistically it's wide open," said Nelson. "You can find really interesting people and interesting things out here."