Liberal A 124-year-old newspaper has been purchased by an upstart rival that waged a two-year battle for readers in the small southwest Kansas town of Liberal.
Publisher Earl Watt and 15 other employees of The Southwest Times walked off their jobs in 2008 after out-of-town owners scaled the daily newspaper back to three days a week, raised fees and cut staff and content.
Then Watt and his cadre of co-workers captivated the floundering newspaper industry by buying a $150,000 printing press and launching a daily newspaper, the High Plains Daily Leader, in May 2008.
On Thursday, Seward County Publishing Co., the parent company of the High Plains Daily Leader, purchased the Southwest Times from Liberal Publishing Co. Both papers will be combined and operate as the Leader & Times, the paper reported.