IOWA PARK (KFDX/KJTL) — A local weekly news publication announced Thursday it will cease operations and print its final issue on July 28, 2022.

The Iowa Park Leader has been a staple of the Iowa Park community since printing its first issue on September 18, 1969. Established by a legend in Texas news, Bob Hamilton and his wife, Dolores Hamilton, the paper won numerous awards over its 52-year print history.

The Leader cited the growing cost of running a newspaper and the decline of the newspaper industry in general as the reason for the closure, stating costs have surged beyond revenue brought in to support it.

Bob Hamilton was inducted into the Texas Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2011, three years after passing away at the age of 77 in 2008. His wife, Dolores, continued to publish the Leader following his death.

“Naturally, I’m sad,” Hamilton said in the penultimate issue of The Leader. “The Iowa Park Leader and print media has been a large part of my life for over 60 years, and it has been quite a ride! But I recognize that things are changing in the communication field and I need to adapt.”

Hamilton said her family has been in Iowa Park since 1969, all five of her kids attended Iowa Park High School, and that even though the paper is closing, her blood still runs green.

“I’m going to miss putting out a newspaper telling about the progress being made here, but I will be on the sidelines cheering,” Hamilton said.

In addition to the financial hardship, Advertising Director Kari Collins said the changing landscape of media contributed to their decision.

“Just as everybody knows, the economy is not good,” Collins said. “It hasn’t been good for quite a while, and you factor that in with the changing landscape of social media and the internet, and for several years, we’ve been watching the change and trying to keep up with it, but the last two years, five years have been a lot.”

You can read the statement published by the Iowa Park Leader on their website.