Monday, September 17, 2018

Mayor in town GateHouse abandoned says she won't put legal ads in new paper to be called Uranus Examiner

The rash of rural newspaper closings by giant GateHouse Media has spawned at least one replacement paper and controversy about its name. But it shows that people want local newspapers.

In June, before the company closed the Waynesville Daily Guide in south-central Missouri, Natalie Sanders quit as managing editor "to start what she calls a 'fun' paper for marketing the businesses and attractions at the tourist town" of Uranus, six miles east of Waynesville, Andrew Havranek reports for KYTV in Springfield. Sanders announced at last week's local Chamber of Commerce lunch that the operation would be expanded to "a regular newspaper for local news, legal notices, and other things you'd find in a normal local newspaper, to be called the Uranus Examiner.

Waynesville and Uranus are in Pulaski County. (Wikipedia base map)
The "town," which is actually the northeastern arm of the City of St. Robert, "is pronounced the way any self-respecting class clown would say it," The Associated Press reports. "Cue the giggling." (Astronomers pronounce the planet "YOUR-uh-nus.") KYTV notes, "Uranus sits along historic Route 66 and is known for quirky attractions."

Waynesville Mayor Luge Hardman asked for the microphone at the meeting and said, "No. I'm sorry. But, the innuendo of that title puts my city up for public ridicule, and I will not be a part of it," meaning that the city's public notices won't be published in a paper with that name. "Right now, the city will have to publish them in the Dixon Pilot [in the northeast corner of Pulaski County] or the Laclede [County] Record" in Lebanon, to the southwest, KYTV reports.

Hardman said, "I think that the 'Pulaski County Examiner' would have been a real hit, and I don't believe it would've been a problem for the cities. But if you're going to place this innuendo on your name, it's not going to fly, at least for the city of Waynesville and the City of St. Robert," which lies between Waynesville and Uranus. KYTV says the Examiner's first issue is planned for late October, with free circulation to 15,000 postal patrons in the couinty.

"Darrell Todd Maurina, owner of the online newspaper Pulaski County Daily News, says despite being the new newspaper's competitor, he's also concerned about the name," KYTV reports. He said that if Uranus businessman Louie Keen "wants to pick up the slack and provide a media product to people in this community who want print media, I want to see that happen. I want to see it succeed. That name does not indicate a serious newspaper."

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