By Michael Showell
Publisher, Mountain Messenger
The West Virginia Daily News and the Greenbrier Valley Ranger, owned by Greenbrier Daily Newspapers, Inc. will not be reopening for publication. Publisher Judy Steele notified employees on Wednesday, June 3, via group text message, “The West Virginia Daily News will not be reopening,” and told them to turn in their keys and gather any personal belongings next week at a set time.
Launched in 1967, both papers were printed and distributed out of Lewisburg, WV. The papers trace their roots to several weekly community newspapers, including the West Virginia News, the Greenbrier Independent, the White Sulphur Springs Star, and the Star-Independent.
A combination of declining advertising revenue and the response to the coronavirus pandemic forced the papers to stop publishing. The community will feel its loss and its effort to connect people, government, schools, churches, clubs and businesses.
The Mountain Messenger continues to publish weekly and we appreciate the communities continued support. We are working to increase the value we offer our subscribers and advertisers through improvements to our newspaper and our website, mountainmessenger.com. We will do all we can to fill the gap left in news coverage of our county.
In an effort to get our readers news and information quickly, we have begun updating our website throughout the week. In order to present a wider range of information we have unlocked access to all 14 of our community weekly newspaper’s websites in West Virginia and Virginia.
We have partnered with the Associated Press to give more state wide news, including state government and national news. Online subscribers also have free access to our phone app that presents all content. Print only subscribers have been offered three months of free access to everything online.
Communities need a strong local news media to help keep an unbiased eye on what is going on around them. To the best of our ability, we report verified information in an objective manner. The loss of our competitor will make this responsibility more solely ours and we take that responsibility very seriously.
I am a Greenbrier County native and Owner and Publisher of the Mountain Messenger. During the last 27 years, I have grown the company to include 14 newspapers under the banner of Mountain Media, LLC. I am both proud and humbled to be able to work with communities throughout West Virginia and southern Virginia. It is a true loss when a community loses the newspaper that served it. I hope and plan to keep journalism alive and well in Greenbrier County and throughout our region. With your support we can strengthen our communities through objective journalism and informed citizens.
If you would like to speak with me, I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.