Industry news

Fites purchase Grand Saline Sun from Lewis County Press
GRAND SALINE – Bert and Michelle Fite have purchased the Grand Saline Sun.
They have been running the weekly for Lewis County Press, LLC, since 2015.
“We purchased the paper in hopes of keeping the Grand Saline Sun alive to shine another day,” Publisher Bert Fites wrote in a column announcing the ownership change. Stressing the importance of local news coverage, he also noted that support from the community and local advertisers will be needed to keep the newspaper running.

Tri-County Leader closes
WHITEHOUSE – Publisher Bill Woodall announced the closing of the Tri-County Leader in the Sept. 27 edition.
The newspaper founded by Bill Ellman in 1985 had been owned by Woodall’s company, Bluebonnet Publishing, since 2003.
“The loss of our local newspaper feels much like the passing of an old friend. We have shared good news and bad; we have rejoiced with winning football scores and struggled through difficult situations that often made us stronger as a community,” said former editor Suzanne Loudamy, who is now executive director of the Troup Community Development Corporation.
“Bill Ellman and I came of age in the newspaper business at a time when most of the residents of Whitehouse, Troup and Bullard were firmly rooted in their communities ... That’s less and less true every day,” Woodall said. “Our readers – the folks who participate in civic and community events, who vote in city elections, who shop locally – represent a smaller part of the population than they did even as recently as a year ago; as a result, our subscriber base, as at many newspapers, continues to shrink.” 

The Pampa News changes publication frequency
PAMPA – The Pampa News changed publication frequency on Nov. 1, Publisher ReDonn Woods announced.
Print editions are now published on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The Pampa News also publishes a free-distribution weekly Spanish edition, El Noticero, on Fridays.
In addition, the newspaper has returned to carrier delivery for in-county street addresses. Post office box holders and out-of-county subscribers continue to receive the newspaper by mail. The paper also revived the TV listings published in the Thursday edition. 
“While change is hard, I truly believe this will be a healthier newspaper with added features that our community will enjoy,” Editor John Lee wrote in announcing the changes.

Galveston Daily News signs come down for repair
GALVESTON – When signage was recently removed from the Galveston County Daily News building for repair, Publisher Leonard Woolsey noted in the next edition that the newspaper’s name wasn’t coming down permanently.
“Living on the Gulf Coast is not for the faint hearted and even the strongest buildings and signage need a bit of TLC once in a while,” Woolsey wrote, adding that in just the past year, the facilities weathered a hurricane, a blistering summer and near-record autumn rainfall 
“Don’t worry, after 176 years serving our community, we are not going anywhere,” he said.

Victoria Advocate awarded for leadership during Harvey 
VICTORIA – The Victoria Advocate won top honors in community leadership in a national journalism contest for its “Understanding Harvey” series. 
The Inland Press Association Community Leadership Award was created to encourage newspapers to use their resources of news coverage, editorial support and staff involvement to make their communities better places in which to live and work. This year’s contest was judged by the University of Missouri School of Journalism. 
Judges said the Advocate staff did what journalists do best. "They thoroughly covered the disaster. They exposed wrongdoing. They provided community leadership. They opened records. They helped Victoria become a better place to live."
The Advocate’s Marina Starleaf Riker also won second place in investigative reporting for her work headlined “Left Out To Dry” about an anonymous landlord claiming to be a nonprofit that took advantage of residents after Hurricane Harvey.

White Oak Independent becomes part of  BardwellInk publications
WHITE OAK – The White Oak Independent is now part of BardwellInk, LLC, owned by Jim and Suzanne Bardwell. 
Founded in 1988 by Winnie and Jeff Newman, the Independent did not miss an issue with the transfer to BardwellInk, which also publishes the Gladewater Mirror and East Texas Sports Magazine. Both newspapers are in Gregg County.
The Bardwell’s first edition hit stands Oct. 18 with the ownership change announced in a column by Suzanne Bardwell, who taught journalism and sponsored the student newspaper at White Oak High School for 22 years before retiring in 2013 to work full time at the Gladewater Mirror. 
“Last week, we had the sudden opportunity to acquire the White Oak Independent from our newspaper pals, Winnie and Jeff Newman,” she wrote. “And, here we are back in that happy Roughneck Valley with old friends and new ... Let me simply say, we look forward to serving you.”
Previously a tabloid, the Independent is now a broadsheet and publishes weekly on Thursday. The Gladewater Mirror publishes on Wednesday

Dublin Citizen expands digital features
DUBLIN – With a second Facebook page devoted to sports, the Dublin Citizen is adding digital features to complement the print edition’s coverage.
Publisher Scott Dyklowski announced some of the new elements in a column.
The “Dublin Citizen Sports” Facebook page and companion Twitter account provides extras such as extended statistics and videos for avid local sports fans. 
In addition, staff member Sarah Dykowski “live posts” the Dublin Lions football games. Those who followed the first live posting messaged afterward to thank the newspaper staff for creating a way for those who couldn’t attend to follow the game minute-by-minute.
Dyklowski said photos by photographer Marilyn Krebs — including game action and special events such as homecoming — are posted online as an extension of the print coverage.
“Of course, our commitment to the print newspaper is as strong as ever,” Dyklowski wrote. “We’re also excited to add something new, a new way to connect with our readers.”

Fayette County Record defies trend
LA GRANGE – The Fayette County Record appeared to be bucking a national trend when the paper’s annual USPS 3526 report indicated an increase in circulation.
“On average over the last 12 months, The Fayette County Record has grown to 5,589 paid print/electronic subscribers/newsstand buyers each issue,” Editor Jeff Wick noted in a column. “Last year we were at 5,535 each issue.”
Wick pointed out to readers that the local newspaper’s growth goes against the current trend, when many newspapers cutting back on pages, reducing staff and changing frequency of publication.

Jefferson Jimplecute celebrates 170th anniversary with two events
JEFFERSON – The staff of the Jefferson Jimplecute celebrated the newspaper’s 170th anniversary during National Newspaper Week.
To celebrate, the newspaper hosted an early morning reception and a Marion County Chamber of Commerce mixer later in the afternoon on Oct. 11.
Publisher Bob Palmer noted the staff was also celebrating changes resulting from “an intense restructuring period.”
The newspaper implemented new sports pages, food pages, arts pages and added the Bulldog Beacon, a student-produced supplement highlighting Jefferson ISD academics and activities. 
General manager Mica Wilhite noted that a “first-class freelance staff” was recruited to expand sports and arts coverage. 
In addition, Joe Caprano, a recent visual communications graduate of East Texas State University, has taken over page design and production since the newspaper began printing at a new press on a larger page format.
Founded in 1848 by Ward Taylor, the Jimplecute is the fifth oldest newspaper in the state.  The newspaper’s name is an acronym Taylor created from the motto “Join Industry, Manufacturing, Planting, Labor, Energy, Captial (in) Unity Together Everlastingly.”
The Jimplecute currently owned and published by Strube-Palmer Media, LLC.