Community Newspapers Incorporated
Area served
Milwaukee metropolitan area
Servicesnewspaper publishing
Number of employees
approximately 110

Community Newspapers Inc. (CNI) is a subsidiary of Gannett. Based in New Berlin, Wisconsin, it publishes eight weekly newspapers in the Milwaukee metropolitan area. CNI has about 110 full-time employees and about 30 part-time employees.[1]


Publisher Duane Dunham began the Oak Creek Pictorial in 1956.[2] By 1964 he had added the Greenfield Observer, Greendale Village Life, and the Hub in Hales Corners to his growing publishing empire. Three years later Community Newspapers, Inc bought the competing Tri-Town News which served Hales Corners, Muskego and Franklin. CNI expanded into the North Shore suburbs in 1974 when it bought the five Herald weekly newspapers from North Shore Publishing.[3] These papers were the Glendale, Brown Deer, Shorewood, Whitefish Bay, and Fox Point/Bayside/River Hills Heralds. The largest addition was the 1979 purchase of 11 newspapers published by Shinner Publications including the Hartford, Menomonee Falls, Germantown, Elm Grove, Brookfield, New Berlin, and Wauwatosa papers.[4] Finally, in 1983, the West Allis Star was added to the roster of suburban papers.[5] By 1986, when Duane Dunham retired, CNI had a total of 23 community newspapers. Upon his retirement, the chain was sold to Sun Media corp of Cleveland, Ohio.[6] It remained a major competitor of print journalism in the Milwaukee Metropolitan market until it was purchased by Journal Communications in 1997.[7] By 2006, the suburban editions were consolidated into only 11 editions, losing the original newspaper names.[8]

The list of the 23 weekly newspapers at their 1986 peak was as follows:

Most of the CNI newspapers had long histories and have traded owners several times in their history.[9] The Wauwatosa News-Times (now Wauwatosa NOW) dates back to March 1899, the West Allis Star (now Greenfield-West Allis NOW) was first published on December 14, 1916, and the Whitefish Bay Herald (now North Shore NOW) first issue was released on June 12, 1930.[10]



  1. ^ "Community Newspapers publishes 23 weekly newspapers from its offices in New Berlin". Community Newspapers. Archived from the original on 2007-03-06. Retrieved 2007-03-27.
  2. ^ "Newspaper buys weekly group here". The Milwaukee Journal. 1987-07-16.
  3. ^ "Oak Creek Firm Buys 5 Weeklies". The Milwaukee Sentinel. 1974-05-04.
  4. ^ "Suburban publisher adds to paper chain". The Milwaukee Sentinel. 1979-03-08.
  5. ^ "Ownership of West Allis Star changes". The Milwaukee Sentinel. 1983-10-15.
  6. ^ "Weekly papers being sold". The Milwaukee Sentinel. 1986-11-21.
  7. ^ "Suburban Shutdown". Milwaukee Magazine. 2007-03-08.
  8. ^ "Community Newspapers to consolidate editions". The Milwaukee Sentinel. 2006-08-30.
  9. ^ Juds, Audrey (2006-10-28). "Citizen's history goes back half a century". New Berlin NOW. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-27.
  10. ^ Oehlerts, Donald E. "Milwaukee County newspapers indexed from Guide to Wisconsin". Retrieved 2007-03-27.[dead link]
  11. ^ "North Shore Now".