By Derek Tyson, The Welch News Editor
WELCH, W.Va. – After nearly a century of publishing, McDowell County’s only local news source has announced plans to shutter all operations immediately barring any unforeseen circumstances.
The Welch News, formerly known as The Welch Daily News, has served the citizens of Welch and McDowell County during the rise and fall of the area. As businesses closed and residents fled the area, we too began to shrink our operations. By 1995, our operation had slowed to printing three times each week and ‘Daily’ was dropped from our name.
We maintained that same printing schedule through two 100-year floods and an ever-growing economic depression into a global pandemic, finally slowing to printing once a week last year. We were something of an enigma to others in the news industry. Somehow, these people managed to keep a newspaper alive in an area severely deprived of our traditional advertising revenue, but how?
Like a dandelion sprouting from cracked asphalt, it takes grit, resilience, stubbornness, and most importantly: sacrifice. As a little team with a big heart, we sacrificed many dreams, opportunities, and precious time with loved ones over the years. But sacrifice on that level is never sustainable long-term.
We have been absolutely honored to showcase achievements across our community over the years as well as work to showcase our community on a national level and beyond. We were happy to host cast and crew for ‘The Glass Castle’ feature film, share an exclusive interview with world renowned chef, author and host Anthony Bourdain after filming an episode of his series ‘Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,’ and encourage the world to pay a visit to our mountains through former Chipotle CEO Monty Moran’s documentary series ‘Connected.’
Our owner, Melissa Nester, was honored to be selected as a West Virginia Wonder Woman as well as winning a Power of Performance Award. Our efforts were also showcased by the WV Community Development HUB and National Geographic. All of us will forever be proud of the positive light we were able to shine on McDowell County.
It’s been one hell of a ride but we’re ready for a change in our lives. We look forward to drinking beer and spending time with our families again. Vacations without work interruptions and peaceful nights without breaking news announcements.
As we go through the motions to wrap everything up, we will be in mourning. We politely request space to deal with everything during this time. Any communication regarding The Welch News should be sent via email to [email protected].
But before we go, there’s always gratitude to share. Thank you McDowell County for supporting us for this long. Thank you to our faithful subscribers, some a customer for their entire life. Thank you to the local businesses whose advertising dollars kept food on our tables. Thank you to all our friends who just pop in to say they love us and our work. We will be grateful for you all for the rest of our lives.