Economic shockwaves from the coronavirus continue to punish Minnesota media, with another newspaper announcing Wednesday that it plans to cease operations.
The Lake County News Chronicle, a weekly newspaper located in Duluth, will publish its final issue May 22. Publisher Neal Ronquist attributed the decision to declining subscribers and revenue.
"It really is a financial decision," Ronquist said. "We would love to be able to continue to cover that community to the extent that we've been covering it in the past, but financially it just doesn't make any sense any longer."
Two other Twin Cities-area weekly newspapers, also owned by RiverTown Multimedia, recently announced its closing plans. The Hastings Star Gazette published its last edition April 7, while The Bulletin of Woodbury and Cottage Grove will release its final edition May 6.
Meanwhile, in the west metro, The Eden Prairie News and Lakeshore Weekly News published final editions this week.
"We, too, have experienced a decline in advertising revenue, changes in marketing preferences, and now, the impact on local business, including our newspapers, from COVID-19," said Laurie Hartmann, general manager of Digital First Media, a subsidiary of the notorious hedge fund Alden Global Capital, which also owns the Pioneer Press and is known for enacting significant cuts in newsrooms.
Since the coronavirus outbreak started, both of the Twin Cities' major newspapers, the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press, have embarked on temporary furloughs for staff in order to offset losses as advertising has dried up.