Another sad day for newspapers. Today Scripps announced the closing of the Birmingham Post-Herald (see corporate statement below). The newspaper’s last edition will be tomorrow. I know I speak for many journalists in expressing my condolences to our colleagues at the Post-Herald. I hope they choose to stay in journalism and can find brighter futures elsewhere. I worked at the Nashville Banner years ago but left before the newspaper folded. JOAs have always made me nervous, and this is just one more example of a one that didn’t work. Of course we all know as business writers what is important at publicly owned companies. Still it’s tough when things like this happen. Good luck to all of you in Birmingham. You’re on our minds today.
Here’s a link to the Post-Herald’s online business section. They were very aggressive in covering the HealthSouth scandal and the Scrushy trial.
The link to the Scripps Howard official announcement can be found here.
Topic: Miscellaneous items
Date/Time: 9/22/2005 10:48:05 AM
Title: Scripps CEO’s letter re Birmingham Post-Herald
Posted By: Jim Romenesko
September 22, 2005
I have difficult news to share today.
Scripps has announced that The Birmingham Post-Herald will publish its final edition on Friday, Sept. 23.
Paid circulation of the Post-Herald has declined to about 7,500 copies – a level at which it no longer makes economic sense to continue publishing. The time has come, I’m sorry to say, for The Post-Herald to join other great afternoon newspapers that have passed into history.
It’s never an easy decision to extinguish the light of an independent editorial voice, especially one as bright and rich with tradition as The Post-Herald. Sadly, though, newspaper readers in Birmingham have made it clear that they are no longer interested in supporting an afternoon newspaper.
The closing of The Post-Herald will end the joint operating agreement between Scripps and Advance Publications Inc., owner of The Birmingham News, which manages the printing, marketing and distribution of both Birmingham daily newspapers. Terms related to the joint operating agreement’s termination are not being disclosed at this time.
Scripps has developed a comprehensive severance plan for The Post-Herald’s editorial staff. We’re committed to helping our Birmingham employees through a smooth transition to new employment.
For all of us at The E. W. Scripps Company, and for me personally, today is a sad day. Our hope had always been for a different outcome.
Please keep our friends and colleagues in Birmingham in your thoughts and prayers as they begin this period of transition in their lives.
Kenneth W. Lowe
President and Chief Executive Officer
The E. W. Scripps Company