Herald Progress closes after 137 years in Ashland

Hanover County

The Herald-Progress is closing after serving Hanover County for 137 years. 

“This was a very difficult decision,” said R. Jack Fishman, president of Lakeway Publishers Inc., which purchased the newspaper in 2008.

“Unfortunately, the paper was no longer commercially viable,” said Fishman. 

The newspaper served the community since 1881.

In 1919, the Hanover Herald and the Ashland Progress consolidated into the Herald-Progress. 

In 1933, Paul Watkins, promotion manager for the Chicago Daily News, and his wife, Lois, moved to Ashland and bought the paper. 

Lois took over for the paper in 1951 after her husband died. 

Watkins and her daughter, Marion, propelled the paper to win numerous awards and receive recognition across the country. 

The Virginia Press Women named Watkins “Press Woman of the Year” in 1974. Two years later, Watkins was given the National Women of Achievement Award 

Malcolm “Jay” Pace III bought the paper in 1981, where Pace and his wife, Pat, along with his brother, Steve, and Steve’s wife, Naomi, managed the paper for years. 

Jay Pace served as associate editor, then editor for the majority of the 70s. 

Before retiring, Pace sold the Herald-Progress to the CV Corporation of Virginia. 

A statue of Jay Pace reading a copy of The Herald-Progress was put outside of the Pamunkey Regional Library after Pace’s unexpected death in 2004. 

Lakeway Publishers bought the paper in 2008, making it one of their six Virginia papers. 

“We greatly appreciate the opportunity to have served the Ashland community for the past decade,” Fishman said.

The Herald-Progress published its final edition on March 29, 2018. 

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