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County Newspapers to Merge at End of Year

The Okawville Times owners Gary and Debby Stricker have sold their publication to Nashville News owner Better Newspapers, Inc. The sale will be completed at the end of the year.
That will pave the way for the two county newspapers to merge into The Washington County News. The new publication is being designed to have its own unique look, different from its predecessors, said Better Newspapers, Inc. President Greg Hoskins.
Another change is that the paper will be printed on Wednesdays, and in mailboxes on Thursdays.
The Washington County News will add staff, for more extensive coverage county-wide, said Hoskins.
Okawville Times subscribers will automatically receive the new Washington County News. For those who are also Nashville News subscribers, the length of subscriptions will be extended.
The Washington County News will operate from the office that now houses the Nashville News. The Okawville Times office will be closed, and the building will be offered for sale or rent. The Times job printing operation is also part of the sale to Better Newspaper, Inc.
“We are extremely excited to be able to continue The Okawville Times long and rich history and it is our desire to continue to promote and provide the areas we serve with the same positive and comprehensive reporting for which the Stricker family is known, now through our new Washington County News publication, starting in January” Hoskins said.
The Times office manager Angela Bronke will work for the new publication.
Debby Stricker will continue to write feature articles, but neither of the Strickers will be involved in the day to day operations.
“We encourage people to submit their news to the Washington County News, and think of it as THEIR paper, no matter where they live,” said Debby.
The Strickers decided to sell the paper that they have owned and operated for 50 years so they can retire. “It will be bittersweet for us, because the newspaper has been our life,” said Debby. “Selling will give us the opportunity to travel more and spend more time with our children and their families, who live out of state.”
The Strickers believe that the sale and merger into a county paper is the best-case scenario to serve county residents. “Since there is duplication of some coverage, this will be the most efficient way to operate as newspapers deal with higher operational costs,” said Gary.
Better Newspapers, Inc., founded in 1991, has grown to 43 publications and seven radio stations in Illinois and Missouri. Newspapers include their flagship, The Herald, sourced out of Mascoutah, as well as the Centralia Sentinel, Carlyle Union Banner, Mt. Vernon Sentinel, and Salem Times Commoner.

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