Idaho newspaper closes after 127 years in Blaine County

The Sun Valley area, which long has had two competing weekly newspapers, is losing one, as the Wood River Journal ceases publication with its Oct. 22 edition.

Express Publishing Inc. of Ketchum, publisher of the rival Idaho Mountain Express and Guide, has purchased the assets of the Wood River Journal. The Express will continue to publish twice a week; the Wood River Journal name will now go on what previously was called the “Valley” section of the Wednesday editions of the Express.

The Express also has acquired archived copies of the Journal and its predecessors and its online presence. Express board Chairwoman Martha Poitevin Page said in an article published in the Mountain Express, “When the management of the Wood River Journal approached us this month, we were extremely pleased to have the opportunity to maintain local ownership of this valley’s century-old newspaper history.”

Express Publisher Pam Morris said, “The archives are perhaps the most exciting part. Newspapers record history on the fly, and these archives stretch back to the mining days of the 19th century.” The Wood River Journal once was owned by state Sen. Clint Stennett, who sold it in the 1980s. Most recently it was owned by the Post Co., publisher of the Post Register in Idaho Falls as well as the Challis Messenger, Jefferson Star, Shelley Pioneer and Intermountain Farm & Ranch. The firm acquired the Journal in April from Lee Enterprises.

The Wood River Journal’s predecessor first started publishing 127 years ago. The Mountain Express was launched in 1974.