BOONE — Mountain Times Publications and the Watauga Democrat are heading to a new office space on Sept. 20.
The Watauga Democrat and Mountain Times Publications has been at its current location — 474 Industrial Park Dr. across from Booneshine — for approximately three decades.
The new office space is located at 584 State Farm Rd., Suite 105 in Boone.
“We’re excited to be in our new, modern facilities,” said Gene Fowler, publisher of Mountain Times Publications. “We think our employees and our customers will enjoy it. It’s bright, it’s airy. It’s a 21st Century building that will improve the daily work life of all our employees.”
The Watauga Democrat was launched in 1888 by the local Democratic party, with help from Joseph Spainhour and John S. Williams. The following year, R.C. Rivers Sr. and D.B. Dougherty took over the newspaper, which had folded after the fall election. Rivers then took over the paper himself by the end of the year, starting a century-long run of family ownership.
In 1994, the newspaper was sold to Eugene and Anne Worrell, owners of the Bristol Herald-Courier.
In 1997, the Worrells sold the Watauga Democrat to Arthur and Fran Powers. The Powers operated the Watauga Democrat until 2002, when it was acquired by Jones Media, owner of the rival free weekly Mountain Times.
With the sale, Jones Media owned five community newspapers in the High Country: Watauga Democrat, The Avery Journal-Times, Mountain Times, Ashe Mountain Times and The Blowing Rocket.
On Sept. 1, 2016, Jones Media’s assets were sold to the family-owned Adams Publishing Group, based in Minneapolis, Minn., and chaired by Steve Adams.
The locally independent Watauga Democrat, The Blowing Rocket and Mountain Times will continue to be reported from and have pages assembled in the new Boone location.