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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Santa Barbara newspaper closes after chapter submitting


The Pulitzer Prize-winning Santa Barbara Information-Press, one in all California’s oldest newspapers, has ceased publishing after its proprietor declared the 150-year-old publication bankrupt.

The newspaper grew to become an online-only publication in April. However its final digital version was posted Friday when proprietor Wendy McCaw filed for chapter.

Managing editor Dave Mason broke the information to workers in an e mail Friday, in keeping with NoozHawk, a digital publication whose government editor, Tom Bolton, used to guide the Information-Press.

“They ran out of cash to pay us. They’ll concern remaining paychecks when the chapter is accepted in courtroom,” Mason wrote to workers.

On Monday, the Information-Press’ web site was nonetheless on-line, with the newest tales printed Friday. There was no point out that it might stop publishing or that it has declared chapter.

A voicemail message left Monday by The Related Press within the newsroom’s telephone quantity was not instantly returned.

The Chapter 7 chapter submitting by Ampersand Publishing, the father or mother firm of the Santa Barbara Information-Press, mentioned it has belongings of lower than $50,000 and money owed and estimated liabilities of between $1 million and $10 million, in keeping with federal courtroom information. A gathering of collectors, which quantity between 200 and 999, is scheduled for Sept. 7.

Anthony Friedman, the lawyer listed for Ampersand Publishing within the chapter submitting, didn’t instantly return a telephone name or e mail searching for remark. McCaw couldn’t be reached.

At its top, the newspaper based in 1855, had a every day circulation of 45,000 and was printed seven days per week, serving Santa Barbara, an upscale metropolis of 90,000 folks. Editorial author Thomas M. Storke gained a Pulitzer Prize in 1962 for a collection of editorials concerning the John Birch Society.

McCaw, then a billionaire native philanthropist lively on environmental and animal rights points, purchased the every day from The New York Occasions Co. in October 2000 and some months later appointed herself and her fiancé, Arthur von Weisenberger, as performing co-publishers.

Six years later, Santa Barbara Information-Press Editor Jerry Roberts give up the newspaper together with 4 different prime editors and a columnist to protest strikes by McCaw that they mentioned undermined the paper’s credibility. The editors who give up cited the publishers’ meddling in tales, which they mentioned compromised the paper’s ethics. In a single instance, the editors alleged McCaw was towards publishing a narrative about one editor’s drunken driving arrest and later intervened to cease a second story.

The editors who give up had been additionally upset that McCaw had appointed the paper’s editorial web page editor because the performing writer.

“On one hand you’ve somebody writing editorials and then again enhancing information tales. There’s an inherent battle,” Don Murphy, who give up because the paper’s managing editor, instructed the AP on the time.

The paper’s closure “will not be a giant shock,” Roberts mentioned Monday. “The paper’s been on a downhill slide for some time.”

“However the truth that the group has misplaced its solely paper is unspeakably unhappy,” he added.

Santa Barbara, which sits alongside the coast about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles, is understood for its beautiful geography and wineries, attracting vacationers and celebrities alike for its gentle local weather and exquisite views. The close by city of Montecito was the location of lethal 2018 mudslides that killed 23 folks.

About half of registered voters in Santa Barbara County are Democrats whereas roughly 1 / 4 are Republicans, statistics that mirror the remainder of the state. Beneath McCaw’s management, the paper in 2016 was among the many few to endorse Republican Donald Trump for president. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton gained almost twice as many votes within the county. McCaw personally wrote an editorial endorsing Trump once more in 2020.

The group nonetheless has a weekly newspaper, The Unbiased, in addition to the digital web site Noozhawk. The closest main every day newspaper is now in Ventura County. San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles, every greater than 90 miles (145 kilometers) away, even have every day papers.

The Press-Information’ closure is the most recent instance of a struggling information media, mentioned Tim Franklin, an professional in native information at Northwestern College’s Medill College of Journalism.

“We’re shedding on common two newspapers per week within the U.S.,” Franklin mentioned. “We’re on tempo to have misplaced a few third of all newspapers by 2025.”

Media corporations are having to compete with Google, Fb and Amazon, that are absorbing a lot of the advert market, and have but to determine a worthwhile enterprise mannequin for native information, he mentioned.

“The native information disaster is occurring in each nook of the nation, together with in prosperous cities and suburbs,” he added.

The Los Angeles Occasions not too long ago introduced layoffs and earlier this month bought The San Diego Union-Tribune to MediaNews Group, which owns lots of of papers across the nation.

The Union-Tribune, which covers the second-largest metropolis in California, is now owned by the identical chain that owns a slew of Southern California newspapers. The father or mother firm is Alden World Capital, which has purchased up newspapers throughout the nation and confronted criticism for slashing budgets and reducing jobs.

In January, the Mail Tribune, one in all Oregon’s oldest working newspapers, shut down, saying declines in promoting spending and issue hiring workers precipitated the closure.

The paper-based in Medford, Oregon, stopped producing a print version in September however continued working in a digital format till closing.


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