Friday, May 15, 2009

Citizen Closing

Posted By on Fri, May 15, 2009 at 10:25 AM

The Tucson Citizen will be printing its final edition tomorrow, according to the soon-to-be-ex newspaper.

More details as they come.

Update: Here's the Gannett statement. No word on job fates yet. We've bolded some interesting parts.

McLEAN, VA — Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) today said it will cease print publication of the Tucson Citizen. The Citizen will continue operating its web site, www.tucsoncitizen.com. The last print edition of the Citizen will be published on Saturday, May 16.

“Dramatic changes in our industry combined with the difficult economy — particularly in this region — mean it is no longer viable to produce two daily printed newspapers in Tucson,” said Bob Dickey, president of the U.S. Community Publishing division of Gannett. “We are pleased that the Citizen’s web site will continue its role as a place for a separate community conversation. Its staff will focus on stimulating public engagement in local affairs. We look forward to moving in this exciting direction.” Dickey said that the parties’ partnership with Lee Enterprises, Inc. in Tucson, TNI Partners, will print a Tucson Citizen editorial in the Arizona Daily Star weekly to expand the reach of the Citizen’s voice. Lee publishes the Arizona Daily Star.

Dickey added, “We applaud the hard work of our employees at the newspaper. Their dedication to journalism and to the community of Tucson deserves the highest praise.”

Gannett has owned the Tucson Citizen since 1976. The Citizen was founded in 1859, and it is the oldest continuously published newspaper in Arizona. The Citizen has reported on some of Arizona’s biggest stories, including the 1881 gunfight at the OK Corral and the 1934 arrest of bank robber John Dillinger.

Gannett’s joint operating arrangement with Lee under the Newspaper Preservation Act will also terminate on May 16. Gannett and Lee will continue to be equal partners in TNI Partners.

About Gannett
Gannett is an international news and information company operating on multiple platforms including the Internet, mobile, newspapers, magazines and TV stations. Gannett is an Internet leader with hundreds of newspaper and TV Web sites; CareerBuilder.com, the nation's top employment site; USATODAY.com; and more than 80 local MomsLikeMe.com sites. Gannett publishes 85 daily U.S. newspapers, including USA TODAY, the nation's largest-selling daily newspaper, and more than 850 magazines and other non-dailies including USA WEEKEND. Gannett also operates 23 television stations in 19 U.S. markets. Gannett subsidiary Newsquest is the United Kingdom's second largest regional newspaper company with 17 daily paid-for titles, more than 200 weekly newspapers, magazines and trade publications and a network of Web sites.

Update 2: Here's The Associated Press take.

One interesting tidbit:

A Gannett Co. official told the newspaper’s staff Friday that the paper will continue with a Web site edition providing commentary and opinion but no news coverage.

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