The Tomahawk Leader: Serving the community
for over 130 years
Since the late 1800s, the Tomahawk Leader has been a staple of the community, providing news that educates and informs.
The genesis of the newspaper dates back to the The Tomahawk first published by William M. Shirk and edited by John E. Shirk in 1887. Joining The Tomahawk that same year was the Tomahawk Blade, edited and published by Jed W. Coon; both publications pre-dating the incorporation of Tomahawk as a city.
In 1896, the Tomahawk Publishing Co., a subsidiary of the Tomahawk Land Co., purchased The Tomahawk and published it until 1912.
The Tomahawk Blade also changed hands in 1896, when Coon sold it to Charles Deming, the publisher of the Tomahawk Leader.
The Tomahawk Leader changed hands the winter of 1897-98, when H.D. Bliefernicht became publisher and editor. Ownership passed from Bliefernicht in 1904, when it was sold to Ware & Lee.
In 1913, Robert G. Lee, owner of the Tomahawk Leader, bought out the The Tomahawk. He operated the Tomahawk Leader publication until 1915, when he sold it to Russell & Dozer. The following year, Russell acquired sole ownership, operating the business until Jan. 1917, when Lee took the newspaper back.
In Feb. 1917, L.W. “Willis” Osborne and his brother, L.M. “Lauren” Osborne took over the newspaper and operated it for 38 years, when they sold it to their editor and advertising manager, Kenneth J. Keenan.
Keenan died in March 1979, and was succeeded by his widow, Clara G. Keenan, who published the paper until April 1982, when she sold it to Larry and Kathy Tobin.
After nearly four decades, the Tobins sold the Tomahawk Leader to family owned Multi Media Channels (MMC) in June of 2019.
MMC began its work in community newspaper publishing in Denmark, WI, in 1953. Under the leadership of founder, Frank Wood, the business expanded into other markers. Today, the company remains in the Wood family, now working with 23 publications and 14 digital channels.
MMC continues on the foundation built by those that worked to educate, inform, and engage the public in the Tomahawk area through the years.