COVID-19 outbreak leads to newspaper merger

Hilde Kate Lysiak, who publishes her work at Orange Street News, was pursuing a story in...
Hilde Kate Lysiak, who publishes her work at Orange Street News, was pursuing a story in Patagonia, AZ, last Monday, when she was stopped by the chief of the town’s Marshal’s Department. (Source: MGN Online)
Published: Apr. 29, 2020 at 11:16 AM EDT
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Updated 5/1/2020

Since the 1800s, the Morehead News, a newspaper, has been supplying local content to about 25,000 people that make up Rowan County, but this week that has all ended.


reports the company blames the pandemic and loss of advertising dollars.

A publisher calls the move a merge, but we learned employees inside the newsroom were laid off and encouraged to file for unemployment.

"The folks in Ashland probably really don't care about what is going on in Morehead. They only care about what is going on in Ashland. It's going to leave a void. And a hole," said Rowan County Judge Executive Harry Clark.

"It's a town of 7,000 and a county of 25,000. It's about to have the largest greenhouse in the world and they have other industrial developments. It's not the type of town that will put up with losing its newspaper," said Al Cross, a journalism professor and expert in rural journalism.

The Daily Independent did release a statement posted in all absorbed newspapers. The headline reads " Welcome to a Change."

Original Story 4/29/2020

The coronavirus is taking a toll on every section of society and local news in some communities is now being affected.

Community Newspaper Holdings, the publisher for a regional group of newspapers, including the Morehead News, the Grayson Journal-Times and the Greenup County News-Times, made the announcement Wednesday.

The three papers will merge with the Daily Independent in Ashland, which is owned by the same company.

In the article posted on the Morehead News website, the regional publisher said "most of our revenue comes from advertisements from local businesses, which are also suffering at this difficult time."

The newspaper also thanked the community for their loyalty and trust over the years. According to their website, the Morehead News had served Rowan County since 1883.

The merger starts immediately.

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