The Dallas County News will close its Adel offices at the end of June and begin operating out of the offices of the Perry Chief in Perry, according to the newspaper’s corporate owners.
Scott Anderson, a senior group publisher with GateHouse Media Inc. in Ames who manages the company’s Iowa newspapers, confirmed the impending closure Wednesday. GateHouse is owned by New Media Investment Group, a holding company based in New York.
Lisa Widdick, recently hired publisher of both the Perry Chief and Dallas County News, also confirmed the consolidation Wednesday, as did Clint Cole, editor of the Dallas County News.
GateHouse owns both publications.
Anderson, Widdick and Cole declined to comment on the reason for the closure of the Adel offices of the Dallas County News, which began publishing in 1872.
“They’re trying to save money,” said a source close to the decision who declined to be publicly identified. “The Dallas County News has lost money the last five years.”
The Dallas County News was bought by Stephens Media, a Las Vegas newspaper company, in 2010 and sold in 2015 to New Media Investment Group.
The closure of the Adel offices follows similar consolidations in GateHouse’s Story County papers. The Nevada Journal and Story City Herald recently closed their local offices and now operate out of the Ames offices of the Ames Tribune, the company’s flagship paper in Iowa.
GateHouse ceased publication of the Northeast Dallas County Record in February. The company also owns the Boone News Republican.
The Dallas County News has a long and storied history, including the editorship of Bill Haglund, winner of the Iowa Newspaper Association’s 2014 Master Editor-Publisher award for his lifetime’s work in the field. Haglund who could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
A brief account of the paper’s founding and early history appeared in “The History of Dallas County, Iowa, Containing a History of the County, its Cities, Towns, &c.,” published in Des Moines by the Union Historical Society in 1879. According to the book:
The Dallas County News was established in Adel, as a Republican organ, in November 1872, by Amos Dilley, under whose able management it flourished as a neatly printed sheet until October 1873, when he sold it to J. M. Landis, who issued it for some time as an Anti-monopoly sheet. On July 15, 1875, it went into the possession and under the editorial management of S. H. Greene, who issued it as a sprightly, attractive paper under the same political belief until April 15, 1876, when it was purchased by the firm of Noel, Newton and Noel, and again changed its politics to Republican, as it had commenced, and still continues. On January 1, 1877, Mr. Noel Sr. went out of the firm, leaving the enterprise in the hands of the present proprietors, Noel and Newton, under whose editorial management the former creditable reputation of the paper is being well sustained and the circulation and influence gradually increased. It is an eight-column folio, and a lively, enterprising sheet, with a circulation of something over seven hundred.
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