A portion of this article is reproduced from the May 8, 1989 Centennial Edition
Now we present a brief history of ourselves - the print media that has been a part of Haleyville since the turn of the century. As the city grew and prospered, so did the various newspapers that made Haleyville their home. Times changed the style and face of each separated newspaper but a common thread bound each - providing the community with the news each week fairly and accurately. This is our story.
With the information available to us, The Square Deal was the first newspaper to be published in Haleyville in 1903. Travis Williams was the editor.
Another paper published in 1906 was known also as the "Square Deal" and was owned and edited by Ben G. Sevier. After a few years this paper was destroyed by fire.
Another paper was published in Haleyville in 1908 by Harry Hansborough known as the Winston County News.
In 1911 at the invitation of the Commercial Club, H.P. Kelley of Carrollton, Georgia came to Haleyville and edited and published the Haleyville Journal. The paper remained in publication until February of 1917 when Kelley sold the paper to J.M. Bankston.
On July 1, 1922, the Haleyville Advertiser made its first appearance with E.P. Lakeman as editor. The town had two weeklies until Lakeman purchased the Haleyville Journal from Bankston in 1924. He then combined the two to form the Advertiser-Journal. Bankston then agreed not to publish a competing paper in Haleyville but breached that contract when he began the Spotlight in 1926 and continued publication until the mid-40s.
The Advertiser-Journal became the Daily Northwest Alabamian in 1962, publishing seven days a week with Jay Thornton as publisher.
In 1965, when twice-weekly publication began, W.D. (Smitty) Smith was editor. The name was changed to the Northwest Alabamian at that time.
Judge Bryan McAfee became managing editor in August of 1971.
Don Thrasher took over publisher duties in 1973, one year before the Northwest Alabamian moved it's operation to the present location on Hwy. 195.
Arthur Ferguson became publisher in 1977.
Present publisher Horace Moore took over in March of 1983 with R.L. Shirley remaining as News Editor up until September 1988 when Joe Holmes assumed the position of managing editor. Holmes left in 1991, and Melica Allen, who joined the Alabamian staff in 1978, was named managing editor. Chad Fell joined the news staff of the Alabamian in 1991, and currently serves as senior reporter.
On Oct. 28, 2000, long time editor and Roving Reporter R.L. Shirley passed away.
Current managing editor Shelly Hess joined the Alabamian as a staff writer in 2005 and was named managing editor in 2015.