Ledger seeks new owner, plans to close this month

Robby Short
The Daily Ardmoreite
Linda Hicks, owner and publisher of the Lone Grove Ledger, plans to sell or close the weekly newspaper by the end of the month.

A staple of the Lone Grove community may soon fade into memory unless someone steps in to take over the operation.

The Lone Grove Ledger, a weekly newspaper servicing the community since 1983, along with Quality Printing will close at the end of the month unless owner and publisher Linda Hicks can find someone willing to take over one or both operations.

“We are closing because of the print shop, not because of the newspaper,” Hicks said. “I lease a digital printer from Xerox and I can’t run the print shop without. But they want me to renew with another five-year contract, and they don’t have anything less than that. At my age, I just don’t want to do that.”

Hicks said she has had conversations about others taking over the operations, none of which were suitable for her wants and needs. 

“They either don’t want both or they want me to stay and run it,” Hicks said. “But if I am going to stay and run it, I’m going to own it.”

The Ledger first began publishing in 1983, when Hicks and her late-husband Gary opened up shop in Lone Grove. 

“We were the very first newspaper in the state of Oklahoma to start desktop publishing,” Hicks said. “That was in 1985. We bough two little Macs (computers). We were doing Mergenthaler, that was the old way of doing things before computers came out. Ours went down, and when we called the repair man, he was in a big hurry and didn’t want to speak to Gary. Gary says, ‘well, I’ve got to do something now,’ so we went up to Norman and bought two of those computers and put out the next issue of the newspaper.”

Hicks initially wanted to sell both businesses together, but has waned as her final day has neared.

“I am getting to the point that if someone wanted the newspaper, just to keep it going, because so many people have expressed, ‘what are we going to do without a newspaper in Lone Grove,’” Hicks said. “There won’t be anything for people to scrapbook with. I do point out to those people that social media covers most of the news that I cover. But you can’t scrapbook social media.”

Hicks said the biggest loss of content will be the positive community stories that rarely get noticed on social media. 

“My hope would be that there would be young people that get involved in reading the newspaper,” Hicks said. “So they can find out stuff they don’t find out on social media. They will learn how their local government and their local school boards are run. And they can avoid certain misstruths on social media."