The Ouachita Citizen
4423 Cypress Street
West Monroe, LA 71291
Phone: (318) 396-0602
Fax: (318) 396-0900
The Ouachita Citizen a fixture in Ouachita Parish since 1924
The Ouachita Citizen has been a fixture in Ouachita Parish since John Marion "Jack" Reighney Sr. began publishing the West Monroe Churchman in 1924. The following year, E.F. "Jake" Cotham of Monticello, Ark., bought an interest in the newspaper and the name was changed to the West Monroe Citizen.
In 1926, Cotham bought Reighney's interest in the newspaper. Two years later, Lee Hawkins bought an interest in the newspaper and the name was changed to The Ouachita Citizen.
Cotham and Hawkins published the newspaper until 1941. At that time, they sold an interest to DeWitt Henry, a newspaperman who worked for The News-Star World in Monroe.
A few years later, Cotham suffered a stroke and sold his interest to Henry and Hawkins.
Amos Hood bought an interest in the newspaper in 1949. From that time until 1965, the newspaper operated with Hawkins as publisher, Henry as editor and Hood as mechanical superintendent.
Henry and Hood continued to operate the newspaper after Hawkins' death in 1965.
On Jan. 1, 1965, Walter B. "Bert" Hatten, who served as mayor of West Monroe from 1966-1978, bought The Ouachita Citizen. Hatten was the managing editor of the Monroe Morning World and The News-Star World when he bought the newspaper in West Monroe.
Hatten owned and served as publisher of The Ouachita Citizen for 21 years. His daughter Beth handled the day-to-day operations of the newspaper during much of that period.
In 1986, Hatten sold The Ouachita Citizen to Bob Barton, who at the time worked for the Ruston Daily Leader. Ten years later, in 1996, Hatten resumed ownership of The Ouachita Citizen and immediately sold the newspaper to the late Sam A. Hanna Sr. and his son, Sam A. Hanna Jr., who currently serves as The Ouachita Citizen's publisher.
Hanna Sr. passed away on Jan. 15, 2006.
Today, Hanna Jr. owns and publishes The Ouachita Citizen. The Hanna family also owns and operates the Concordia Sentinel in Ferriday/Vidalia and The Franklin Sun in Winnsboro.
In all, the Hanna newspapers have some 17,500 paid subscribers, or reach more than 40,000 readers each week. The Ouachita Citizen has a paid circulation of 5,200.
The three Hanna newspapers are members of the Louisiana Press Association (LPA). Hanna Jr. is a member of the LPA’s board of directors.