The eight counties of the Jackson Purchase last week had twelve county wide weekly newspapers.
After March 1, 2017 that number will be reduced to 10 newspapers.
Three local newspapers, The Hickman Courier, The Hickman Gazette and The Fulton Leader, are owned by Magic Valley Publishing. Magic Valley Publishing is owned by the Richardson family of Camden, Tennessee.
On March 1, 2017, the three papers will officially merge into one paper. This new newspaper will be located and operated in the old Fulton Leader office. Publisher Richardson wrote that the new paper would be named "The Current" after the image of the Mississippi River and the flow of news.
Each of these newspapers are a hundred years old. They have been the newspaper of record for each county. Facing increasing personnel cost, higher operations cost, prospects of higher postal rages, and the continuing loss of advertising revenue combine to make a "perfect wave" defining a worsening landscape for weekly newspapers in far Western Kentucky.
Richardson says The Current will publish its first issue March 8. He says in the immediate future, the price will stay the same, and no one will lose their jobs. Subscribers to the papers will have their subscriptions grandfathered into the new paper.
Reactions in Hickman and Fulton County are mixed. Some mourn the loss of their local paper. Others think that advertising in the Current will reach a wider audience.
The changes today to in-print media market in the Purchase is one more reflection of what is happening to print media nationally.