Friday, December 26, 2008

East Iowa Herald to suspend print operations

The East Iowa Herald newspaper today announces that it will suspend print operations after the Dec. 31, 2008, edition. Declining advertising revenue and a challenging outlook for the near term future are being blamed for the suspension. ...

According to Mitch Traphagen, owner of the East Iowa Herald, subscriptions and circulation were not the problem for the newspaper.

“Subscriptions have continued to come in - even up to this week,” Traphagen said. “As local businesses cut back due to concerns over an economic recession, that left only limited advertising dollars available to competing newspapers. As a new business, we haven’t been able to build up the resources necessary to overcome the financial hurdles during this period of economic slowdown.”

Also according to Traphagen, a suspension is being announced rather than an outright shutdown with the hopes that conditions could change to allow the newspaper to resume operations in some form. A decision as to whether it is feasible for the Herald to continue as an online-only newspaper will be made in the coming weeks. The newspaper’s Website,, has received more than one million hits since it began in January. Iowa County Publishing, the business that the Herald operates under, will continue to provide video, photography, and Web development services.

“This last-minute announcement is due primarily to waiting until the last minute to be absolutely certain,” Traphagen said. “We wanted to be sure there were no other alternatives.

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