A dozen US local free papers closed within a year

Free local papers were traditionally strong in the US, particularly in Colorado, California and New Hampshire. In the beginning of 2008 there where 40 different local titles published in the US. Now, less than two years later only 24 remain, a dozen of those closed with the last 12 months or converted to a non-daily schedule – one free daily (Bluffton Today) converted to a paid model.

  • The East Valley Tribune (AR) went to a three-days-a-week schedule (see previous post)
  • Today’s Local News (CA) went to a two-days-a-week schedule in 2008, became a Sunday-only publication in January 2009, and closed in May.
  • The Marco (Daily) Eagle (FL) is published three days a week since December 2007
  • Siglo21 (MA) went daily September 2008 but back to weekly in 2009 (see previous post)
  • The Daily News (CA) closed editions for San Mateo, Redwood City, Burlingame and Berkeley (see previous post)
  • The Daily Post in Francisco closed in January
  • The SF City Star closed in March (see previous post)
  • The Eureka Reporter (Humbolt County, CA) closed in November 2008 (see previous post)
  • The Tahoe Daily Tribune (CA) went to three-days-a-week schedule in February (see previous post)
  • The Grand Junction Free Press went three-days-a-week this year
  • The Manchester Daily Express (NH) closed in February 2008 (see previous post)
  • Bluffton Today (SC) went paid in December 2008 (see previous post)
  • The Nashville City Paper (TN) went semi-weekly in April 2008 (see previous post)
  • The Kitsap Free Daily (WA) ‘temporary suspended circulation’ in November 2008 (see previous post)
  • Link (Hampton Roads, Virginia) closed December 2008 (see previous post)

Total circulation of the US locals dropped from 600,000 end 2007 to less than 300,000 now. Also some metropolitan free papers closed down in the US (BostonNow, Baltimore Examiner, Quick Dallas, Hoy in LA & NY, The Buzz in Salt Lake City) but smaller papers seem to be hurt more by the recession. In total, US free circulation dropped from 3.3 million in 2007 to 2.4 million now. One of the reasons could also be that some of these papers were published by smaller entrepreneurs that did not have the resources to survive a recession.

In other markets free local papers also suffered. Particularly in Spain were many local free papers were published, the recession led to closures. In Canada, however, Black Press is still publishing more than a dozen local papers.

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