Newspaper publication employee speaks out about sudden closures after over 100 years

COVINGTON COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — Newspaper stands outside of two Western Wiregrass newspaper publications — the Opp News and the Geneva County Reaper is empty this week after they have stopped publishing.

Both are closed after over 100 years.

“We opened in like 1920 here and we got a notification that our next issue will be our last one and it’s kind of a shocker,” Opp News Sports Editor Tripp Norris said.

The last issue for both Geneva County Reaper and the Opp news was last Wednesday.

Pujol Publishing and Printing owns both publications.

The publisher has not given a reason for the closing but seasoned employees in the newspaper industry have a guess of what could have led to the closure.

“A lot has gone digital now and not buying print paper but I know a lot of people in opp who would still come by and pick it up they had the thing over here and you would see one or two people getting one when we released on Wednesdays,” Norris said.

Norris has been with the Opp News for 15 years, working in sports. Although it was a secondary job, the closure cuts into his pockets.

“I used to go to all the games, I travel by myself and it does affect your cash flow a little bit, so I’m going to have to find something in town but I have been doing this and I don’t know what else to do,” He said.

Norris says it’s shocking to people that the city’s paper is gone and for Geneva County. Unlike Covington County which has the Andalusia Star, their whole county-wide paper is gone and they don’t have another one to turn to. But he doesn’t believe the door could be completely shut.

“I’m thinking someone is going to buy it,” He added.

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