Former Brandon newspaper editor starts media company

By Jodi Schwan

The former editor of Brandon’s newspaper has started her own media company.

Jill Meier partnered with local investors to form Brandon Valley Media Group after her position as editor of the Brandon Valley Challenger was eliminated last year.

Gannett Co. Inc., which owns the newspaper, combined the job with the editor’s position for the Dell Rapids Tribune.

Shortly after that, Meier was at an event and was approached by people wanting to support her in a locally owned venture, she said.

Jill Meier

“I knew this dream could happen,” she said. “I loved the job I had for the last 12 years and told a lot of people I love this community. I love the people and loved what I got to do as editor. I just wasn’t ready to part ways. And the community believed in my dream.”

Brandon Valley Media Group will produce a weekly newspaper, the Brandon Valley Journal, which will be delivered by mail to subscribers on Wednesdays starting in August and available to buy at Sunshine Foods as well as several area convenience stores.

It also will publish the advertising publication the Brandon Valley Trader on Tuesdays, which will be delivered for free, and will run the website The website is updated daily with photo galleries of area events and city news.

A preview copy of the newspaper was delivered to homes a couple of weeks ago, and Meier said response has been positive.

“People were stopping me on the street or stopping in and calling and emailing,” she said. “Subscriptions have been coming in.”

The media group’s office is at 1404 E. Cedar St. in Brandon. Meier has hired one part-time sales representative and is planning to a hire a reporter/photographer, office manager, graphic artist and part-time sales representative.

As Brandon approaches 10,000 residents, Meier said there’s still a strong sense of community, significant interest in schools and more business development. She anticipates plenty of news to cover.

“We’ve got a lot of things coming our way. We’re at the 10,000-person tipping point … and it’s important for Brandon to have its own identity and support its own businesses,” she said. “We’ve got a ton of special sections planned and a lot of neat story ideas coming up, and I’m just looking forward to putting it on paper.”

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Former Brandon newspaper editor starts media company

The former editor of Brandon’s newspaper has started her own media company.

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