Friday, October 18, 2019

Where GateHouse Media closed two rural Arkansas papers last year, a new, locally owned one thrives

Hempstead (left) and Nevada
counties (Wikipedia map)
In September 2018, GateHouse Media closed two papers in rural Arkansas: The Hope Star, a twice-weekly in Hempstead County (where Bill Clinton was born), and the weekly Nevada County Picayune. But soon afterward, the weekly Hope-Prescott News began publication and is celebrating its first anniversary this month, according to Arkansas Publisher Weekly.

The Hope-Prescott News was established by Hope businessman Wendell Hoover and radio advertising salesman Mark Keith. "Both men believed that communities of Hope and Prescott needed a viable print product after the two other newspapers closed," reports the weekly publication of the Arkansas Press Association. "The first edition was published Oct. 4, 2018, with a 1,000-copy press run. According to the publishers, they now publish a 12-page per week newspaper with a press run of 2,500."

The paper could see a financial boost from ads soon; because it has been continuously published for one year, under state law it qualifies it to publish paid public-notice advertising.

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