Community paper shuts down after almost 100 years

HOPEWELL — The Hopewell News, the publication that covered the Hopewell area for almost 100 years, announced Thursday morning that it is closing its doors.

“It is unfortunate and sad,” said Editor Adrienne Wallace. “The paper has been here a long time.”

In a statement to subscribers, the Hopewell Publishing Company said that the operation was “unfortunately no longer economically viable” and that it had been “an honor to chronicle the history of this area.” The Hopewell News’ parent company was Lancaster Management, Inc. (LMI).

“The owners said they could no longer operate it,” said Wallace.

Sherry Sponaugle, who had been the mailroom supervisor for 30 years, said the news of the paper’s closing left her “numb”.

“It’s unbelievable,” she said. “I don’t even have a reaction right now. I loved my job, I know that. I enjoyed it.”

The Hopewell News had long been a training ground for young journalists looking to get a start in the industry.

“We have a great history of young people coming here and learning their craft,” said Wallace. “It’s sad to lose that. For people coming out of college now, there are less and less positions available.”

The Hopewell News joins a long list of local newspapers and news outlets that have been forced to shut their doors. According to a study conducted the University of North Carolina’s School of Media and Journalism, within the past decade several hundred newspapers have shut down, merged, or been cut back from a daily to weekly publication.

“You hate to see any newspaper go away, there’s a lot of history there,” said Wallace. “You can’t get your news from Facebook, people need to know that.”

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

•John Adam may be reached at jadam@progress-index.com or 804-722-5172.