Polkabeat Inc. has purchased the Texas Polka News. The transaction was completed on July 26 and the first issue under the new publisher, Theresa Cernoch Parker, is expected in September.
The newspaper was started 26 years ago by musician and polka promoter Julius Tupa of Houston as a way to provide dance enthusiasts with a monthly schedule of events and the latest news of the Texas music scene.
When Julius Tupa passed away in 2002, his friend, John Rivard, became the editor of the newspaper with Tupa’s wife, Marie, at the publishing helm. The monthly newspaper has grown to have almost 2,000 readers, not only in Texas, but across the country.
“I am happy to announce the sale of the paper and see Julius’ legacy live on,” said Marie Tupa. “I can’t thank John enough for his dedication and friendship over the years. And I can’t think of a more fitting person to take the publication to the next level than Theresa. She grew up around polka and continues to promote the music, bands and dance halls through her website.”
Cernoch Parker founded polkabeat.com in 2010 to honor the memory of another polka lover, her father, Willie Cernoch, originally from Dubina, Texas. The website provides monthly listings of dances and festivals, as well as news, photos and videos from events. The site also has a Polka On! store featuring polka apparel, accessories, gifts and CDs/DVDs. More than 1,200 subscribers receive a weekly e-newsletter featuring the weekend lineup of events in Texas.
“I know Julius and my dad are looking down on us with a smile. The two of them were good friends who thought polka was the best music genre ever. The Tupas and John have provided a wonderful service to Texas music fans over the years and I am honored to be given the opportunity to continue in their footsteps,” Cernoch Parker said.
Cernoch Parker is also pleased to announce that Gary E. McKee of Fayetteville, Texas, will serve as editor of the paper. “Gary’s photojournalism and writing skills have been crucial to the success of polkabeat.com. I look forward to working with him as we help readers of Texas Polka News polka on.”