Apr 4, 2024 - Business

Southwest News Media to cease publication of six Twin Cities metro newspapers

Illustration of a crumbling newspaper

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Southwest News Media announced Thursday it will cease publication of all its newspapers at the end of April, effectively shutting down six long-running community media outlets in Twin Cities southwest metro suburbs.

Why it matters: Local news has already seen a steep decline nationwide, and now Chanhassen, Chaska, Jordan, Prior Lake, Shakopee and Savage will lose their primary weekly community newspapers β€” some of which have been in operation for over 160 years.

  • Most American communities that lose a local newspaper usually do not get a replacement, even online, writes Axios' Sara Fisher.

Zoom out: The company's sister newspapers in Hutchinson and Litchfield will also close at the end of April, as will its affiliate printing plant Crow River Press.

What they're saying: "Many newspapers throughout the country have been challenged during the past decade or longer by changing lifestyle habits, especially by the dramatic shift in advertising revenue," the company said in the release published on the newspapers' websites.

Between the lines: Southwest News Media was acquired in 2020 by MediaNews Group, a Denver-based company owned by Alden Global Capital β€” an investment firm known for slashing budgets, staff and entire publications.

  • Two of the company's other papers, Eden Prairie News and Lakeshore Weekly, were shut down within a few months of the acquisition in 2020.
  • MediaNews Group also owns the Pioneer Press.

What's next: The Chaska Herald, Chanhassen Villager and Jordan Independent will end publication on Thursday, April 25, while the last edition of the Shakopee Valley News, Prior Lake American and Savage Paper will be Saturday, April 27.

Editor's note: Audrey is a former reporter of the Chanhassen Villager and this story was corrected to describe Alden as an investment firm, not a hedge fund.

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