Back in the early 1890s, the city of Moody, Texas was flourishing. Two newspapers were duking it out for readers before E.W. Billings, the first man to publish a newspaper in town, sold out to Squire Hundley who published the daily newspaper the Moody News. Hundley then changed the name to the Moody Courier.Over the years, the Courier has undergone a lot of changes and a whole slew of owners. Other papers have come and gone, but even with an expansion into other towns, the Courier has continued to serve Moody and the surrounding area with the same commitment to community journalism that existed back in the early 1890s with Squire Hundley.
Years after the Moody Courier began serving the people of McLennan County, W.S. Foster saw the need for an alternative local newspaper in nearby Waco. It was after World War II, and in 1946, Foster opened a new office to convert a statewide pension paper started in the 1930s into a community newspaper. The newspaper eventually expanded to a twice a week publication and at one time ran a press that printed many of the area newspapers. Like the Courier, the Citizen went through several owners during recent years, before going back to the Foster family, where it once again became a weekly publication that continued to serve the people of McLennan County.
W.C. Foster's son, Bill, purchased the Moody Courier in 19XX and published both papers for several years, but like the towns served by the newspapers, the print media industry began to change.
Many towns that once had thriving business sections have turned into bedroom communities that feed larger cities in the area. It became more and more difficult for smaller towns to support a newspaper that only covered their residents. And people found more and more ways to access news through electronic media as the internet and social media began to change a rapid.
The Waco Citizen office was on 25th Street until 2013.
However with the Internet and social media also came new ways for newspapers to partner with other forms of communication to provide up-to-date news and features. For some newspapers that were slow to adapt, the newspapers became even harder and harder to support.
In January of 2013, TexRay Media, a publisher of niche publications in McLennan County, began operating the Waco Citizen and Suburban Courier (the name used by Foster when he expanded coverage by the paper). The company purchased the two papers later in the year, and on June 20 combined the news coverage for the two papers into a countywide newspaper called the Citizen-Courier that will combine social media, the internet and printed publications into a up-to-date, modern community information source for every town in McLennan County.
"Our goal is to give people the kind of neighbor news that keeps them informed about what is going on in their local communities, and in other areas of the county," Raytex Media said in its announcement about the name change. "We will continue to expand our print coverage as well as our exposure on the internet and through social media."
TexRay Media publishes or is in the process of launching several niche publications including The Waco Messenger, a newspaper serving the African-American population in the Heart of Texas, Texas Prime Timer and the Texas Veteran. In addition, it has numerous websites that provide news and information to targeted audiences.