Advocate purchases The Interior Journal

July 01, 2004

The Interior Journal, Lincoln County's hometown newspaper, changes hands this week.

Tom and Sharman Moore, who have owned the weekly newspaper since 1984, sold the business to Advocate Communications Inc., a part of Schurz Communications Inc. of South Bend, Ind., which owns newspapers in Indiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, California and Kentucky.

Advocate Communications plans to continue publishing The IJ from the same office on Main Street in Stanford.

In Kentucky, Advocate Communications publishes The Advocate-Messenger in Danville and The Jessamine Journal in Nicholas-ville.

"After 30 years in the newspaper business, 20 of them in Lincoln County, it's time to move on," said Tom Moore, editor of The Interior Journal. "Advocate Communications is bringing in new talent, new technology and new energy that will serve the readers and advertisers in Lincoln County well."

Moore said he approached Mary Schurz, editor and publisher of the Danville newspaper, about her company's possible interest in purchasing the paper because of a "clustering" trend in the newspaper industry.


As with any industry, the newspaper business can benefit from the efficiencies of having operations in close proximity. With a central printing plant, customers in common and the ability to share staffers when necessary, it made sense for Schurz to be interested, Moore said.

"We are delighted to welcome The Interior Journal to the Advocate family. It will be an honor for us to own and run," said Schurz.

Customers will continue to see familiar faces

Customers of the Lincoln County newspaper will continue to see some familiar faces at The Interior Journal: Gina Cooper, office manager; Nancy Leedy, sports reporter and photographer; typesetter Bonnie Kolasa; and delivery person Connie Davidson will remain while two new ones will join the staff, Katherine Belcher as editor and general manager and Cynthia Hungate as advertising sales representative.

Belcher is a Lincoln County native who lives in Halls Gap Estates. A graduate of the University of Kentucky and a veteran of the U.S. Navy, Belcher, 31, has worked for The Advocate-Messenger in Danville for three years. She covered Lincoln County as a reporter before being promoted to wire editor.

Hungate, a Harrodsburg resident, has lived in the area for 12 years. A Greenup County native, she is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University with a degree in fashion merchandising. She has sales experience for a Richmond newspaper and a Danville real estate firm and formerly operated an excavating business with her husband.

Advocate Communications becomes the eighth owner of The Interior Journal in its 132-year history under that nameplate. The paper was owned for most of its existence by the Walton family, who provided three generations of editors during an 80-year span.

Other owners have included Shelton Saufley, who went on to own and publish The Richmond Register; Ferdinand Matheney, a local banker who bought the paper from the Waltons with attorneys Harris Rhodes and Pat Rankin; former United Press foreign correspondents Richard and Martha Ferguson; the Caldwell family of Danville; Waggoner-Walker Newspapers Inc. of Columbia; and the Moores. The Fergusons and the Moores owned the paper for about 20 years each and are second only to the Walton family in length of ownership.

The Interior Journal is longest surviving among six newspapers published in Lincoln County, according to researchers at the University of Kentucky Library. The other papers have been The Central Dispatch, The Lincoln County Post, Lincoln County News, The Lincoln Ledger and The Stanford Banner.

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