The newspaper office serving Tarrant, Parker and Wise County held large gathering with catered breakfast, refreshments and words from leadership
AZLE — On Friday, Sept. 22 the Tri-County Reporter hosted a ribbon-cutting and reception ceremony to officially celebrate the merger between the Azle News and The Springtown Epigraph. Since June 5, the newly-combined newspaper has been operating under the name Tri-County Reporter. Several weeks ago, the business installed a new Tri-County Reporter sign on the façade that once read “Azle News”. The rebranding occurred not only to increase the economic efficiency of the business, but also to build connections between closely-neighboring communities that may not always hear enough about one another.
“As the communities are growing, and I’m so involved in both communities, I’ve seen them getting closer and closer and closer together,” Publisher Kim Ware said. “They may be separate cities, separate school districts, separate people but we’re really all connected in one way or another.”
Ware hopes by combining into a larger entity, the paper can serve a larger audience and serve more communities along the Jacksboro Highway.
“As a business, that’s what we want, we want to all be able to continue to grow our businesses,” Ware said. “That’s our goal, to be here to represent you, to represent the school district, to talk to the community about how amazing Azle and Springtown school districts are, how amazing the cities are. This is the most amazing area to work and live in.”
The modest newsroom was packed with a list of “who’s who” from both the Azle and Springtown areas for the celebration. The mayor, city council members, local religious leaders and business leaders all gathered to mingle, eat and listen to Ware and Sam Houston, chief operating officer of Hyde Media Group, which owns the Tri-County Reporter, speak on the occasion. David Schaffer led the room in prayer and Kip Kruger, Azle Chamber chair, introduced the two.
Ware began by describing the resources and benefits the newspaper has received since it was purchased by Hyde Media Group in 2021.
“I’m not just thankful for me and the employees that work here, but I’m thankful for the communities because I know the stability’s here and we’re going to continue to be here for many, many years to come and that’s exciting for our communities,” Ware said.
COO Houston went on to describe the vision of the paper going forward.
“It’s very important for us to do two things in today’s world: be factual and be objective,” Houston said. “We want our readers to draw their own conclusions, but for us to provide them with the facts where they can make informed decisions rather than listening to rhetoric from one side or the other. A newspaper can make or break a town. We can elevate people, or we can tear them apart. We feel very strongly our role is to elevate our community.”
zach freeman | tri-county reporter