Iowa weekly ceases publication after 122 years

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A northeast Iowa weekly went out of print after its owners said they couldn’t find a suitable buyer.

The Jesup Citizen Herald printed its final edition Dec. 29, ending its 122-year history, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported.

Publisher Kim Edward Adams, 68, who ran the paper for its last 43 years, said he and his longtime press partner Robin Harms had decided in recent years that they were ready to take their retirement.

The move came after Adams underwent eye surgery, leaving him unable to handle his previous workload, and Harms tired of working under what were often 12-hour workdays.

“At this age, I don’t have the energy anymore,” Adams said.

The pair agreed to sell or close the paper by the end of 2021. They spoke with four to six interested buyers, Adams said, but “most of them had no prior experience in newspapers”.

The Citizen Herald is one of more than 100 newspapers nationwide to close since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, according to Poynter, who reports that about 1,800 newspapers — mostly weeklies — have closed in the states. United since 2004.

Following: 3 Iowa newspapers disappear in one week. The pandemic threat is real for the industry and for Iowa.

The Jespu newspaper website remains accessible and includes recent obituaries and a heartfelt 1,300-word letter from Adams titled “Saying Goodbye to Jesup.” But Adams said he had no intention of including past articles on the website and suggested past posts could be found at the Jesup Public Library.

His company, Horizon Publishing Company, will continue to operate two smaller newspapers, the weekly Denver Forum, which he owns, and the monthly Readlyn Chronicle, owned by the Readlyn Community Club.

This article originally appeared on the Des Moines Register: Jesup Citizen Herald printed its final edition on December 29

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