Last week we introduced the acquisition of the West Liberty Index by our parent company, North Scott Press Inc. I've penned a column that will print in this week's Index and wanted to share it with our readers.
Hello West Liberty! I wanted to take a moment this week to introduce myself and the staff of your neighbor to the east, the Wilton-Durant Advocate News.
As you read last week in our page 1 story in your West Liberty Index, Advocate News publishers Bill and Linda Tubbs have acquired the Index.
We’ve brought another 150-year old paper into the fold and couldn’t be more excited. Bill and I have worked on this venture for months, meeting several times with publishers from Woodward Communications, which purchased the Index no more than a couple years ago.
Adding the Index to North Scott Press Inc., which also includes the Advocate News and North Scott Press in Eldridge (where the Tubbses reside) made too much sense to ignore.
Geographically it’s a perfect fit, as West Liberty is Wilton and Durant’s neighbor of just 15 miles to the west. The Index is also one of two (including the Advocate News) official Muscatine County publications. This is very important for our readers and customer base. Our many wonderful clients will now be able to reach all corners of our great county through the new alliance between the Advocate News and Index.
The Advocate News office is located less than a mile from the Muscatine-Cedar County line and we’re the official newspaper of Durant, which gives us coverage in much of Cedar County and even into the western edge of Scott County.
Our far reach into Cedar County, coupled with the vast coverage of Scott County in the North Scott Press means we now represent the corridor from the Quad Cities to Iowa City.
In the coming weeks our staff will become acquainted with that of the Index. We are eager to get started and have plenty of ideas to share and things to learn from our new partners in West Liberty.
Some of our Index readers may know me from attending countless West Liberty sporting events over the years. Wilton, Durant and West Liberty are all members of the River Valley Conference. I cover Beaver and Wildcat sports so I know the Comet teams well.
In fact, as a Wilton graduate, I’ve been coming to and covering West Liberty games since the days of the Eastern Iowa Hawkeye Conference (EIHC). Even in recent years. I was there last season when Tanner Iske ran like the wind while winning a state title in the 100-meter dash at the state track meet. I was also on the mat the last two years when Bryce Esmoil won consecutive state wrestling championships.
West Liberty is a proud town with a great (and growing) school district that is deeply rooted in bilingual education.
Readers of both our Muscatine County publications may start seeing bylines from both staffs in each paper.
I’m the managing editor of the Advocate News and our staff includes ad manager Carissa Hoekstra, and Layce DeLong and Brandy Marquez who wear many hats within our organization including reporting, circulation and ad design.
I will serve as general manager of the Index but longtime Index editor Jacob Lane will continue to be the eyes and ears of your community. I’ve gotten to know Jacob over the years while running into him many times while covering the same events. I look forward to working with Jacob, ad manager Tom Burger, and the rest of the Index staff, and visiting West Liberty much more in the weeks to come.
We understand that the Index has changed ownership three times in the past few years but North Scott Press Inc. made this acquisition with the future and stability in mind. It has owned the Advocate News since 1980.
There will be more details to come but for now we’re extremely excited to have a paper with such long-standing tradition as a member of our family.