By paulgillin | March 23, 2009 - 1:40 pm - Posted in Facebook, Solutions

ann_arbor_newsThe 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 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 Facebook, Solutions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. March 23, 2009 @ 1:53 pm

    This, to me, is the most shocking news to date. A newspaper in a top college town, with circulation of 45,000 and 58,000, closing? These type of newspapers are supposed to be the strength of the industry right now, if there are any strengths. They didn’t even resort to layoffs first?

    Unless the Michigan economy just buried it along with the two Detriot papers.

    I am stunned and even more concerned by this news.

    Posted by Newspaper Fan
  2. March 23, 2009 @ 4:17 pm

    Cleveland PD just announced fulroughs and pay cuts.

    Posted by Tim Russo
  3. March 23, 2009 @ 6:59 pm

    Newhouse is cutting at all its newspapers today. Pension freeze and 10-day furloughs ordered at the Star-Ledger in New Jersey.

    Posted by Newspaper Fan
  4. March 24, 2009 @ 6:40 am

    The Ann Arbor News, and many other failing newspapers, also have contracted with several independent contractors (adult motor route drivers) who deliver their newspapers to subscribers and retail outlets. For many of them, newspaper delivery has been their only source of income for years and they will now be out of work. Since they are independent contractors and have little “real” job experience, they’ll have no access to unemployment and few prospects for other jobs. They will not be “invited to apply” for jobs with the new online company. This is an aspect media does not cover. It’s just sad how many people will have nothing, now that the news is folding.

    Posted by Jessica Hughey
  5. June 24, 2009 @ 8:32 pm

    […] Ann Arbor News, which announced plans in March to scale back from daily to twice weekly frequency, is apparently going a little further than that.  Writing on, Rick Edmonds reports […]

  6. August 2, 2009 @ 10:13 pm

    […] noticias acerca del periodismo digital y la evolución del tradicional, entre ellos 233grados, Newspaper Dead Watch y Editors Weblog. La mayoría solo informó la decisión de Advance Publications Inc, la empresa […]

  7. August 6, 2009 @ 11:06 pm

    […] sorry to say that in the supposedly media-hip town that I live in, I did little grieving over its recently failed newspaper. It was an awful publication. And while I had some hopes for its online/hybrid replacement, […]

  8. March 1, 2010 @ 9:38 am

    […] also a little perplexed as to how my town is going to honor Newspaper In Education Week, since we don’t have one. Speaking of reading, do some on March 2, because it’s Read Across America Day, in honor of […]

  9. May 24, 2012 @ 2:31 pm