Two small weekly newspapers in southwest Iowa have ceased publication, citing declining advertising and subscriptions, among other reasons.
Both The Walnut Bureau in Walnut and the Danish Villages Voice in Elk Horn released final editions on Christmas Eve, the Daily Nonpareil reported (http://bit.ly/1xKJ58n ). Owners said the ending of the longtime papers was sad, but unavoidable.
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The decision to end The Walnut Bureau in particular was "not made lightly," wrote Marye Bierbaum, the editor of both newspapers. The Walnut Bureau had been in business for more than 130 years.
"We understand the hole that will be created by the absence of the paper," she wrote in the paper's last issue.
Ron Nelson, office manager at the Voice, said there was no single factor that led to the paper's closure, but he noted that sentimentality must give way to the realities of profit and loss.
"That some here in the community, and others across the United States, rely upon the Voice as their sole link to the community is not lost on us," he said.
Chris Mudge, executive director of the Iowa Newspaper Association, said small Iowa newspapers tend to consolidate instead of close. He did not consider the closings the beginning of a trend.
"It depends on the vibrancy of the community," he said. "But community newspapers have done well."
Both papers were managed by Cornflower LLC. The publishing company plans to refund customers for undelivered issues.
Information from: The Daily Nonpareil, http://www.nonpareilonline.com