NEWMAN — A long-standing newspaper in northeastern Douglas County, The Newman Independent, is shuttering its doors effective Thursday, Jan. 4.
The independent newspaper owned by Cathy Hales and the late Dana Hales was initially supposed to close its doors on Sunday. Still, developments from a December 20 public meeting seemed to pique interest in keeping the 151-year-old newspaper going.
An initial editorial penned by editor Matthew Hales in the December 28 edition of the Newman Independent would initially present the presumption that someone was willing to take over editorial duties and pledges would be taken to facilitate the purchase of the newspaper from the Hales family.
The editorial stated that Katrina and Nick Maxedon were going to take over editorial duties while Cathy Hales was going to stick around to help with the financial side of the business.
Had the Maxedons decided to take over editorial duties, the Hales would have continued to publish the newspaper for a period of three months. That would help establish enough time for a sale to be facilitated by the Maxedons and any pledges.
However, in a recent editorial by Cathy Hales for the January 4 finale, it appears that this arrangement isn’t going to happen after all. Hales said that without someone to take over duties currently done by Matthew Hales, a three-month period would be too optimistic. She also stated that the paper’s January 4, 2024 edition would be its last.
Subscribers will receive a pro-rated refund based on how many months are remaining on their current subscription. Subscribers can contact the newspaper via email at email@example.com or by calling Cathy Hales at (217) 712-6235.
The Hales family has owned and operated The Newman Independent since 2011. Co-owner and co-publisher Dana Hales passed away from a bout with cancer on August 6, 2023, leaving his wife and son to operate the newspaper.
A request for comment was not immediately returned before publication.
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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.