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About the Levy County Citizen

The Levy County Citizen in November 2021 combined two longstanding newspapers — the Chiefland Citizen and Williston Pioneer — to become a newspaper that serves the entire county.

 The Chiefland Citizen has been the conscience of the community it serves since it was established in 1950 by Jack Holland. Longtime newspaperman Walter Wilson and wife, Wihlena, purchased the Citizen in 1973. The pair were hands-on owners who did all the work themselves. One by one, staff was added, including Wilson’s brother Fred in 1978, until the newspaper boasted 11 employees. In 1974, the Wilsons began to publish the Tri- County Bulletin, a free shopper.

After Wilson died in 1995, Wihlena and son, Chris, took over the publishing duties of the newspaper.

In 1999, the Wilsons sold the newspaper to Landmark Community Newspapers Inc., which holds the philosophy that the only first-rate newspapers are those that are independently operated by people who live in the community and who are responsive to community needs.

In June 2021, Paxton Media Group purchased the paper. Today more than 98 percent of its editorial content is contained to Levy, Gilchrist and Dixie counties and focuses on the people who live here and the issues that concern them.

Only 24 years after Florida became a state, and 18 years before the city of Williston was incorporated, a newspaper was founded on the island community of Cedar Key and placed its roots in Williston in 1879.

Originally called the Island City Herald, the evolution of the Williston Pioneer is as rich and storied as the people it has continuously served for over 140 years.

The paper has changed hands numerous times over its lifespan, and has undergone, several name changes, including the Williston Sun.

It wasn’t until 1968 that the paper finally came back into local hands when Bess Williams merged The Williston Sun with the Suwannee Valley News. For the next 23 years the newspaper played a key role in the community, even with the advent of the Williston Pioneer, founded by Skipper Hammond.

In 2001, Landmark Community Newspapers Inc., purchased both papers and merged them into the current Williston Pioneer Sun News — the oldest continuously published newspaper in Levy County and one of the oldest in Florida.

In June 2021, the newspaper was purchased by Paxton Media Group.