Michigan daily to shut down


The Ann Arbor News announced that it will cease publishing as a daily newspaper in July. Once the Newhouse family’s Advance Newspapers closes down the daily and pays severance to its 272 employees, a new company, AnnArbor.com LLC will launch to operate a local news website and publish in print twice per week.

After daily publishing since 1835, publisher Laurel Champion announced the coming change for the money-losing newspaper and said the owners would use the new venture as a “laboratory to create new ways to share local news and information.”

The new print product will be published on Thursdays and Sundays, while AnnArbor.com on the Internet will become the main outlet for news. “This isn’t about abandoning local journalism, it’s about serving it up in a very different way,” Champion was quoted by the newspaper as saying in her tearful announcement to the staff.

Advance Newspapers is sending some of its seasoned executives to Ann Arbor to help run the “laboratory.” Matt Kraner, formerly heading circulation, advertising, marketing and prepress at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and Tony Dearing, Editor of the Flint Journal, will head up AnnArbor.com with Champion.