Monday, March 23, 2009

Ann Arbor News to publish last edition in July; other Michigan dailies to downsize

Eight newspapers in Michigan will be downsizing come June, with half scaling back or closing their print publications in favor of the Web and half consolidating certain operations and reducing wages and benefits for workers.

"The economic challenges are pretty horrifying in Michigan," said Steve Newhouse, spokesman for the Newhouse family's Advance Publications Newspaper Group, which owns the Booth Michigan newspaper chain.

The only newspaper to shutter its print publication will be the 174-year-old Ann Arbor News, which will publish its final issue in July and replace it with a new, Advance-owned online media company called LLC. The Web publication will feature more local news as well as community collaboration, publisher Laurel Champion said in a letter published Monday.

"The daily print format was not working," Newhouse said, noting the city's residents are "unusually tech-savvy."

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