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April 21, 2024

Prairie Press and Paris Beacon-News “merging” –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On June 14, 2016


According to the Press Release, the Prairie Press and Paris Beacon-News will merge operations beginning Thursday, June 16, 2016. Tay Smith will serve as publisher for both publications.

Touting bringing “local ownership” to both papers, Smith says the merger will allow both publications to continue to provide service to Paris and Edgar County.

Smith stated a group called the Paris Reinvestment Group made this possible under the umbrella of the Prairie Beacon, LLC. Paris Reinvestment Group is composed of Scott Ingrum, Drew Griffin, Don Bartos, and Ben Lueken and plan to continue to invest in Paris and Edgar Counties.

Ownership in the merged operation include the investment group, and Tay Smith and Nancy Zeman owning stock in the company.

The Paris Beacon will move to a twice weekly publication on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while the Prairie Press will publish on Saturdays instead of Thursdays.

Zeman will serve as managing editor for both papers while Gary Henry will serve as senior staff reporter.


We believe one entity owning both newspapers in Paris is a bad idea. We will provide an in-depth assessment at a later date.
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  • Jane Thomey
    Posted at 07:50h, 15 June

    Sick of it all….
    So glad to know this BEFORE I renewed my subscription to the Beacon News for the next 16 months to help out the Band. I think it’s pretty sad they advertised that special, as they had to know they were going to be changing to a 2 day a week paper… It was bad enough when they dropped Mondays, but now it’s not going to be worth the paper it’s printed on. Can just go to FB to find out what’s happening in town. Sorry to see this happen.. The Beacon was to the point where I really enjoyed reading it.

    • Gordon Wonsey
      Posted at 10:07h, 15 June

      I totally agree that this is just another example of politics is so strong in Edgar county. Influencial peoples controlling everyone. Why not ask the people before such action is taken and you spring it on us? Politics is not always about the people’s choice ; it’s about whose got the money and whose king of the hill. Wake up America. Where are our right?

      • jmkraft
        Posted at 10:17h, 15 June

        While I agree it will not be a good move for the cause of keeping people properly informed, this was a private business transaction and nobody should have to gain or ask for any permissions for private business transaction.