Tuesday, August 28, 2018

GateHouse Media shuts down Arkansas weeklies

It is uncertain at this point what effect the voluntary buyouts at GateHouse Media will have on its area publications, including the Carthage Press, Neosho Daily News and Pittsburg Morning Sun, but the company's decision to close two weekly newspapers in Arkansas indicate things could get much worse.

Monday was the deadline for GateHouse employees at newspapers across the nation to tell company officials whether they wanted the buyouts. After that, the officials will decide which ones will be accepted and which people they cannot afford to lose.

At this point, there is no word about how this will affect the Press or the Neosho Daily.

Recently, the company announced it was shutting down the printing press at Neosho and will send the area newspapers to Columbia, where GateHouse owns the Columbia Tribune, to be printed.

Arkansas Business detailed GateHouse's decision to completely shut down two weeklies:

The newspapers were the North Little Rock Times, which had absorbed the Maumelle Monitor, Sherwood Voice and Jacksonville Patriot into a single weekly print edition last year, and the Lonoke County Democrat, itself a 2017 combination of the Cabot Star-Herald, the Lonoke Democrat and the Carlisle Independent.

The last print editions are going out this week, then publication will cease,said Teresa “Tee” Hicks of Gatehouse’s Western Publishing Division, publisher of the Pine Bluff Commercial.

That passage from Arkansas Business shows that GateHouse's decision is not just a closing of two newspapers, but a closing of six smaller newspapers that had once served their communities.

At the same time that it is closing newspapers, crippling its remaining publications and putting workers out on the street, GateHouse continues its newspaper-buying orgy, following the same business plan that has already led the company into bankruptcy once.

The future is looking grim for the Neosho Daily News and Carthage Press.


My latest book Newton County Memories is available locally at Granby Auto Supply and Hardware, Always Buying Books and Changing Hands Book Shoppe in Joplin and Pat's Books in Carthage. It is also available in paperback and e-book formats from Amazon at the links below.

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