Home News gifted to Wingate University
Wingate University is now the new owner of The Home News.
John Edmondson, publisher of the publication since 1997, has chosen to give the newspaper to the University.
Edmondson as well as Brenda Thomas, the newspaper's office manager, will remain with the paper for a short period as it transitions over to the University's control.
"I gifted it to them and we signed the papers this week," Edmondson said.
He had an offer on the paper when he was looking to sell it and though it was a solid offer, he felt the idea to gift it to Wingate University would ensure that the newspaper would continue to flourish, he said.
"I felt like they would honor and pretty much sustain and hold up the heritage that The Home News has had over the years. It's 122 years old and I think we've carved a pretty solid place of service to the community both in reporting and also involvement and I think the university recognized that and I think they'll keep it going and they'll improve it and do better," he said.
He and Thomas plan to continue working at The Home News for Wingate University throughout the rest of April. Afterwards the university will hire a new editor and editorial staff for the paper. He expects the university will continue to expand the paper and its coverage of local news, Edmondson said.
"I think we've had a really good paper, a solid paper, I think they're going to make it better," he said.
The Home News is planned to continue to be run out of its current location in Marshville and to remain a lot similar to how it is now though there will likely be a few changes, Jeff Atkinson, director of marketing and communications for Wingate University, said.
"As a university, we see this just as a wonderful opportunity to be able to keep a 122 year-old institution alive because we're a strong believer in local news, freedom of the press, the First Amendment and in newspapers," he said.
Along with helping to keep the newspaper going, it will also help the university to better serve the Wingate University and Wingate-Marshville community.
Wingate University's ownership of The Home News became effective April 17. The university's Marketing and Communications Office will oversee The Home News and plans to utilize the publication to better inform communities in Union and Anson counties about what's going on at Wingate, while also keeping the community informed. The university plans to expand The Home News coverage of academics, Bulldog sports and musical and cultural events on campus. Students in the University's Department of Communication will be able to assist in reporting and producing the newspaper. The department currently publishes the student-run, The Weekly Triangle. The Home News will remain a Thursday publication and is available in newspaper racks in the Wingate-Marshville area and via nominal subscription, according to a statement from Wingate University.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for Wingate University. We look forward to continuing the newspaper's tradition of service to the community," Jerry E. McGee, president of Wingate University, said.