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Forum has strong ties to wire service

The New York bureau of the Associated Press found letters in its files written to the AP's managing editors by an editor and a publisher of The Forum decades ago.

The New York bureau of the Associated Press found letters in its files written to the AP's managing editors by an editor and a publisher of The Forum decades ago.

In 1944, upon the death of Forum publisher Norman D. Black, editor H.D. "Happy" Paulson wrote this:

"Appreciate very much your kindly letter on the passing of Norman Black.

"Norman and I worked together more than 37 years, except for a period of about 18 months. It was a wonderful relationship and something that is given to few men.

"He did a very fine job on The Fargo Forum and we are going to miss him.

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"We have affected partial reorganization by the election of Norman D. Black Jr. as our publisher. He has been with the company the last nine years in advertising, as office manager and as business manager. He is a very fine young man and I am confident that he will work out in fine shape. I know that he and I will be able to work together just as his father and I worked together, and his grandfather before that."

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In December 1956, Paulson announced his retirement as Forum editor. So he wrote this to the AP managing editor:

"So I took the leap. On my own. Nobody suggested it. Thought I would, before they did.

"All in all, right happy at the fact that the men of The Fargo Forum decided that they had a new editor within the office. I'm sure John (John D. Paulson, Happy's son) will be a better editor than I ever was. Primarily, I wasn't an editor. I was a reporter. Still hope I am.

"You and all of the men and women of the AP have been my friends over the many years. I'm aiming to stay around awhile and it may be our paths will cross again. I hope.

"JDP will be the new AP member from Fargo."

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The next month -- January 1957 -- in what must have been one of his first official actions as the new publisher, Norman B. Black Jr. sent a short note to the AP general manager:

"I am enclosing your signed and sealed authority designating John D. Paulson as the representative of the Fargo Forum in the Associated Press."

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