A window at the Juneau County Messenger office in Elroy bears the name of the newspaper. A note left on the door June 6 said the paper is closing

ELROY — The owner of the Messenger of Juneau County won’t say whether customers will be eligible for refunds after the paper closed June 6.

Phil Calian declined to answer questions June 7 about Lewis County Press LLC’s plan to notify the publication’s subscribers and said they should email to find out more information.

A note left on the office door in Elroy June 6 in Elroy the newspaper is closing permanently.

“We are sad to announce the Messenger of Juneau County has closed, effective June 6, 2018,” the statement says. “The newspaper will no longer be published following the resignation of the paper’s staff. Any questions should be emailed to We will all miss the paper!”

When asked about payments made by the paper’s customers, Calian referred to the message on the door.

“Again, this is not a situation of bankruptcy, this is closing of a paper, so subscribers should feel free to contact us using that email address,” he said. “And we’re happy to respond to all inquiries from subscribers.”

A picture of the door note was shared June 6 on the Facebook page of Messenger Publisher and Editor Eva Marie Woywod. Woywod could not be reached for comment June 6.

In a May 29 interview on WRJC, Woywod spoke about the paper’s troubles after it was purchased in 2014 by Missouri-based Lewis County Press LLC. The Messenger was its only Wisconsin publication. She stated none of the employees had healthcare, and she believed they were underpaid. She used the interview to tout an online website she is building.

“The leader of the staff had resigned, Eva, and I just couldn’t find a replacement,” Calian said about the decision to close the paper.

The May 17 edition of the Messenger included an article written by Woywod in which she wrote about resigning from the publication. In it, she pointed out the business had nearly closed until she agreed to extend her resignation to June 15 and stay on as the Messenger’s editor to give the publication time to find a replacement for her.

“It just didn’t work out,” Calian said.


Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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