Newspapers Merging in Wayne, Lackawanna, Pike Counties

HONESDALE, Pa. -- Four newspapers in Lackawanna, Wayne, and Pike counties will merge next month, marking a major change in how some people get their local newspapers for the first time in 140 years.

This change will affect readers of The Carbondale News, The Moscow Villager, The Wayne Independent, and The News Eagle in Pike County. The oldest of those papers started in 1878, and soon, they will all be known under one name.

The news of the day has been shared at Mick's Barber Shop on Main Street in Honesdale since 1890. It's a feature of the barbershop the owners say has never changed.

"That's why our chairs are facing out towards the benches because that's how people communicated and share ideas," said Mick Frigoletto.

But the customers here show that the way people get their news is changing. As more readers shift to online, the community paper that serves Honesdale will merge with three other papers.

The Wayne Independent will join forces with The Carbondale News, The Moscow Villager, and The News Eagle which covers Hawley and Pike County.

Readers in Honesdale will get the physical paper three days a week instead of five.

"If it's a necessary thing for them to stay in business, I think it's a good thing," said one customer in the shop.

"I love to read the newspaper, hold on to something. I'm not one to be browsing on my phone, or computer, I want to get the news where I can tangibly feel it," Frigoletto said.

The news of the merger will be on the front page of Wednesday's copy of The Carbondale News and The Moscow Villager telling readers that the new paper will be called the Tri-County Independent.

Ed Deeb lives in Scranton but still reads all four of the community papers.

"I worked for Hazzouri Banana for years and I delivered to all these counties and I always liked to pick up the papers, the local papers, to see what's going on. I enjoy reading them. I like to see their sports," said Deeb.

Deeb says even if the merger keeps the paper afloat, local news here will become a little less local.

"I think they're needed in a small town just to tell people what's going on," Deeb added.

The Tri-County Independent will put out its first issue during the first week of October. All four papers are already produced out of the same building in Honesdale.

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