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Two Iron Range newspapers to merge into one

The merger will make it the only daily print paper in northern Minnesota.

Two more local newspapers in Minnesota are shifting their operations amid financial hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mesabi Daily News and Hibbing Daily Tribune announced Wednesday they would merge into one paper, the Mesabi Tribune, starting July 8. The paper will be printed six days a week.

"Our newsroom staffs have closely collaborated for several months now, and under the Mesabi Tribune flag, we can place more reporters and photographers in the field to bolster our coverage of news, sports, features and more across northeastern Minnesota,” editor Jerry Burnes wrote in the announcement.

Subscribers can access the same websites for each paper while a new site is under construction. Delivery schedules and carriers will also stay the same. 

"Our mission is to continue providing the Iron Range with a reliable daily news source online and, most importantly, on your doorstep as we navigate these changes together," Burnes wrote. 

The merger means that The Mesabi Tribune would be the only daily newspaper delivered in northern Minnesota. The Duluth News Tribune announced last month that it would cut its print production to twice a week. The paper also eliminated its carrier force.

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The Hastings Star Gazette and The Bulletin of Woodbury and Cottage Grove both shut down earlier this month, citing financial strain caused by the virus. The Lakeshore Weekly News and the Eden Prairie News stopped publishing in April.

The pandemic isn’t just hitting small town newsrooms, either. According to a May New York Times article, around 36,000 employees for outlets nationwide had been laid off, furloughed or had their pay cut. Affected newsrooms included the Los Angeles Times and Buzzfeed. 

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