A little bit of this, and a bit of that
A look at the last 20 years of your newspaper.
Dennis H. Phillips - Publisher
Robertson County News, The Hearne Democrat & Franklin Advocate
Welcome to the home of the official newspaper of record for Robertson County, Texas. Well, in truth, we have two newspapers, The Hearne Democrat and the Franklin Advocate, all rolled into a neat package called the Robertson County News.
In 1898, The Hearne Democrat was the only newspaper to serve Robertson County and would remain so until 1973 or 1974. At that time, a family in Franklin, the county seat of Robertson County, created a newspaper only to serve Franklin and county news.
In 1985, The Franklin Advocate came into publication, presumably as a competing newspaper to the already established rival paper.
In 2002, Robertson County had several newspapers in print. The Hearne Democrat, Franklin Advocate, Calvert Tribune, Robertson County Booster, and the other Franklin paper. The four primary news publications would cease to be owned by a local family when the group of four newspapers was sold to American Consolidated Media (ACM).
At the height of ACM's business holdings, more than 100 newspapers from Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas were being managed, traded, and sold as commodities. Among newspaper industry leaders, ACM was considered more of a holding company and less of a newspaper company; ACM would finally sell its last of its holdings in the Texas and Oklahoma newspaper market in 2014.
The actions of ACM's short tender significantly negatively impacted the news published in Robertson County. As a result, in 2003, The Hearne Democrat, Franklin Advocate, and Calvert Tribune ceased publication, and in their place, a consolidated newspaper title, "Robertson County News," was born.
This action closed the historic newspaper of record, The Hearne Democrat negating more than 100 years of print service to the residents of Robertson County.
In 2010, Moser Community Media (MCM) purchased the Robertson County News (RCN) and all copyrights. At that time, RCN's assets included the copyright to The Hearne Democrat, Franklin Advocate, Calvert Tribune, Robertson County Booster, and Robertson County News.
In 2012, newspaper veterans Dennis Phillips and Teresa Phillips transferred from Bosque County. The Phillips' joined MCM in 2010 to work at The Clifton Record and Meridian Tribune and served those communities until the transfer in June 2012.
Dennis Phillips, named Publisher of the Robertson County News, and Teresa would take on the Advertising Director and Office Manager duties.
In 2014, for the first time in the history of the newspapers of Robertson County, the Phillips with MCM would purchase the historic and former city library building on 4th street in downtown Hearne. That same year, The Franklin Advocate would again begin publication to serve Franklin and Bremond, Texas. In addition, the Robertson County News would take on the news role for Hearne and Calvert, Texas.
As the pandemic hit in January 2019, the Robertson County News would weather the pandemic, and negotiations began to sell the newspapers between Jim Moser of MCM and Dennis Phillips. In the summer of 2019, Phillips Publishing, LLC was created for the intent and purpose of ownership of the Robertson County News and all assets, including copyrights.
In January 2020, Dennis and Teresa Phillips, after eight years of service, shook hands with MCM and became the proud owners of the Robertson County News. The newspapers continue to flourish with continual support from the community and advertisers as readership grows.
In November 2022, Dennis Phillips fulfilled a promise he had made to the community of Hearne in 2012. Once again, the Hearne Democrat flag and historic newspaper of record for Robertson County would fly as Dennis and his son Roy McCoy decided to change the newspaper's name back to the original name.
Teresa Phillips | Robertson County News - 2018
Christmas, 2018, The historic Robertson County News building fully decorated from top to bottom in holiday cheer. A tradition since 2014, the newspaper often wins the business decoration award from the Hearne Chamber of Commerce.
Dennis Phillips | Robertson County News
The Robertson County Courthouse, situated in downtown Franklin, Texas serves as a hub of county-wide activities. The Robertson County Courthouse, under the direction of then County Judge Jan. A. Roe was fully restored in 2016. THe project began in 2014. The courthouse opened to serve Robertson County in 1882, the Hearne Democrat would begin publication just 6 years later.
About: Dennis Phillips has been the Publisher of the Robertson County News, The Hearne Democrat, and Franklin Advocate since 2012. Dennis Phillips has more than 25 years in the community newspaper industry having served many communities throughout Texas.