MOREHEAD, Ky. (WDKY) — A total of four communities in Kentucky are without a local newspaper after its company decided to close the locations.
A total of four communities in Kentucky are without a local newspaper after its company decided to close the locations.
The Morehead News, Grayson Journal Enquirer, Olive Hill Times and Greenup News Times announced Wednesday their communities would no longer have a local source for news after their parent company, Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. shutdown the newsrooms. All four newspapers were a weekly publication.
A release posted in each of the final prints and online by Group Publisher Patty Bennett says the closures come after a lack of advertisements.
The Morehead News has been forced to scale back over the years since its existence in 1883. Most recently the paper was printing one publication a week and serving 35,000 readers each print and online, according to their website.
Bennett says coverage of Morehead will fall on the paper’s partner at The Daily Independent, a mid-sized newspaper over an hour away in Ashland, Kentucky. Bennett calls the move a “merge” but would not comment on if the current newspaper staff would be offered jobs in Ashland. Though some close with the Morehead News along with Judge Executive Harry Clark tells WKYT the employees have been laid off and urged to file for unemployment. Bennett would only say all news operations were moving to Ashland without commenting further. When asked if any journalist would remain in Morehead to cover strictly local news, she again refrained from commenting.
Rowan County Judge Executive Harry Clark says the county was given no notice before the final news publication on April 29. Clark questions if the Ashland newspaper would adequately cover Morehead and says the majority in the county doesn’t read The Daily Independent — and never have nor will.
“The folks in Ashland probably don’t care about what is going on in Morehead. They’re more worried about what is going on in Ashland,” said Clark. “There is definitely going to be a hole, it’s going to leave a void.”
Clark also has concerns about readings the county must legally print in local newspapers. His office spent around $25,000 a year in The Morehead News to pay for the legal ads. The Kentucky Press Association says when a county does not have a newspaper, the neighboring county with the largest subscriptions in the adjoining county will publish the ads. Rowan County does not border Boyd County where the Daily Independent is created therefore the ads cannot be printed in the paper. It’s not clear which county will print the ads as of Friday.