The Ann Arbor News, a newspaper that has served the Michigan city since 1835, will cease daily operations in July. The newspaper’s “business model is not sustainable,” said publisher Laurel Champion in a statement this morning. The paper will scale back to twice-weekly print frequency and move the bulk of its newsgathering operations online.
The news was apparently a surprise to the staffers who gathered in a first-floor conference room this morning. The staff “appeared dazed as they huddled in groups to discuss the news,” said a report on the newspaper’s website. “Ed Petykiewicz, editor of The News, looked visibly shaken as he paced the newsroom. Several times he could be seen removing his glasses to rub his eyes.” Petykiewicz had announced his retirement after 20 years with the paper last Friday.
Employees will be given the opportunity to apply for jobs at the online operation, but there will be an unspecified number of layoffs. Matt Kraner, formerly chief marketing officer of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, will be president and CEO of AnnArbor.com. Tony Dearing, former editor of the Flint Journal, will be chief content leader.
The Ann Arbor News claims a daily circulation of 46,657 and Sunday circulation of 58,413, according to the company’s media kit. The paper is owned by Advance Publications, Inc., which also own Condé Nast Publications, Parade Publications, Fairchild Publications, American City Business Journals, the Golf Digest Companies, and newspapers in more than 20 US cities.
You can read the publisher’s letter here.
This entry was posted on Monday, March 23rd, 2009 at 1:40 pm and is filed under Business News, Layoffs, Local news, NewMedia. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.