More than 125 years of history will be preserved and expanded upon with the recent acquisition. The Sun Advocate and Emery County Progress boast a rich history in Southeastern Utah, paving the way for news, archives and community support over the many years.
The first newspaper published in the Castle Country area was deemed the Eastern Utah Telegraph in 1891. S.K. King, originally from Burlington Colo., was the managing editor of the publication.
On page one of the first issue published on Jan. 15, 1891, King wrote, “The Telegraph is a new venture in Utah journalism and, as its name imports, is dedicated to the people of Eastern Utah upon whom, in the main, it depends for its support and in whose interested its influence will at all times be exerted.”
Change, triumph and struggle would be commonplace for the publication in the coming years. In 1895, the publication came to be known at the Eastern Utah Advocate before morphing into The Sun, led by published Robert Crockett. A competing publication, known as Carbon County News, came onto the scene a few years later, beginning a long battle for supremacy.
“Both newspapers were very good for their time, but also were prone to attacking each other violently on the front pages of their publications,” wrote long-time publisher Rick Shaw. “Even fistfights broke out between supporters of the one paper with the other. It was a passionate time, when the only news people got was either from word of mouth or from the local newspapers. It was not unusual to find both local papers printing national and international news on their pages.”
A long battle, which involved a court case, debt accumulation and bad blood, ended in 1932 when the owner of the Richfield Reaper bought the newspapers in Carbon County and merged them into one publication, the Sun Advocate.
Most recently, the publication has been led by Brehm Communications, based out of California, which took over ownership in more recent history.
The history of print media in Emery County is nearly as long as its neighbor county, with a desire to spread news beginning just a few years after in the late 1890s.
Two publications, the Emery County Pioneer and the Emery County Record, attempted to solidify a holding in the county in the 1800s, but proved unsuccessful. Then, on Sept. 1, 1900, the Emery County Progress distributed its first publication, and became the long-standing newspaper it is today. Printed on the presses of the Crockett brothers in Price for the first publication, the Emery County Profess returned to its roots and was printing in Castle Dale one month later.
“R.W. Crockett and John A. Crockett were publishers of the flourishing Eastern Utah Advocate and had purchased the pressed and plat of the Emery County Record,” Bruce Olsen shares in “A History of the Emery County Progress-Leader and its Predecessors,” a theses he wrote for his Master’s degree at Brigham Young University. “The third issue of the newspaper contained an announcement explaining where the new newspaper was originating: ‘The publishers of the Progress have purchased from Mr. C.A. Hyde the printing material, presses and plant of the late Emery County Record, and perhaps our next issues, at any rate not later that the first of October, will print The Progress in Castle Dale.'”
In 1901, the Progress boasted a circulation of 744, with a yearly subscription cost of $1.50. That price held until 1943, when the subscription rate was increased to $2 with the amount of subscribers nearing 1,000. The Progress changed ownership a number of times throughout those years, seeing new editors, newspaper formats and reporting styles as the Progress evolved.
In 1963, the Progress merged with the Green River Leader to become the Emery County Progress-Leader. Editor Clarin Ashby, who oversaw both publications, led the merger and made several changes in the mechanical production of the newspaper.
In 1977, the name returned to the Emery County Progress, and it has continued to exist as such since that time. As with the Sun Advocate, the Emery County Progress has been owned by Brehm Communications in recent year and led by local operations.
Emery Telcom is excited to announce that the history of the two well-known publications will live on as locally owned and operated publications in Carbon and Emery counties. The strongly-held belief that every citizen should have access to local news, regardless of ability to pay, will be maintained as ETV News continues to deliver free print news to every home and business in Carbon and Emery counties.
The Sun Advocate and Progress names will be retained, under the umbrella of ETV News, beginning immediately. Readers can expect the most comprehensive news source in the two-county area, not only through the continuation of print media, but also online at www.etv10news.com, on ETV Channel 10 and through various social media platforms.