Tuesday, September 11, 2018

GateHouse closes 5 Arkansas weeklies and Missouri daily; terminates one-fifth of news staff at Peoria Journal Star

UPDATE, Sept. 12: GateHouse cut five of the 25-person news staff at the Peoria Journal Star, and two others took a buyout, Tanya Koonce reports for Peoria Public Radio. Guild President Phil Luciano said Gatehouse wants to move copyediting to the chain's to Austin, Texas, headquarters. "Luciano calls it a dark day for the Journal Star and anyone who cares about communities, public discourse, and justice."

Bill Clinton's hometown of Hope, Ark., is losing its newspaper after GateHouse Media announced it's shuttering the Hope Star along with four other Arkansas weeklies and one in Missouri.

"Sept. 14 will be the last day of operations for the Siftings-Herald in Arkadelphia, the Hope Star and the Nevada County Picayune Times in Prescott, Ashley Wimberley, executive director of the Arkansas Press Association, confirmed Wednesday," the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports. Hope, Arkadelphia, and Prescott are in the adjoining counties of Hempstead, Clark, and Nevada, respectively. The APA's 2018 Arkansas Media Directory lists no other papers in Hempstead and Nevada counties, and a weekly in Clark. The Arkadelphia paper is listed as a twice-weekly.

GateHouse shuttered the North Little Rock Times and the nearby Lonoke County Democrat last week. Its The Waynesville Daily Guide in Missouri printed its last issue Sept. 7, reports its sister paper, The Rolla Daily News.

UPDATE, Sept. 14: GateHouse closed the twice-weekly Gridley Herald in California's Buttle County on Aug. 31, citing rising newsprint costs and "the bottom line." The paper's sports editor says on Facebook that he will continue his work there, offering southern Butte County readers "the same high-quality coverage readers came to expect from the Gridley Herald before its greedy, sleazy, shady, unprofessional corporate owners decided to pull the plug last week."

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