The city of Pittsburgh will become the largest U.S. city without a daily print newspaper following the Post-Gazette’s announcement that it is ceasing publication of its Tuesday and Saturday editions.
The 232-year-old Post-Gazette announced in June that it planned to scale back print editions of its daily newspaper, while leaving the schedule of its digital version unchanged.
“It’s the year 2018, and with the way people review and expect to review information and news, we think we’re doing the right thing,” said Block Communications Inc. vice president of legal and government affairs Keith Wilkowski in a statement. “We will be publishing a (digital) newspaper seven days a week.”
“[F]rankly, we reach more people via online than through the print publication,” the executive added.
The Post-Gazette’s editorial employee union president Mike Fuoco slammed the decision to cut back daily print edition of the paper, suggesting the move would be a breach of “public trust.”
“We’re very sorry the company has made this decision. We’re very sorry for the people who cherish having print newspapers seven days a week, and there’s a lot of people like that,” a disappointed Fuoco wrote. “I know that it’s a difficult time for newspapers, but I think that the Blocks need to also recognize that there’s a public trust and a public responsibility that they have by owning a newspaper that’s been in existence for 231 years,” he added. “I would hate to think that they’re abandoning that legacy.”
The decision to end publication of its Tuesday and Saturday print editions comes after the Post-Gazette scaled back home delivery to customers residing in Westmoreland County last year.
According to the Alliance for Audited Media, the paper’s average weekday print circulation in December 2016 fell by 400 to 159,511 copies from the year prior.
In July, the New York Daily News announced layoffs in a bid by its parent company Tronc to restructure the cash-strapped local publication.
New York Daily News employees were sent email the previous day asking them to “plan to be in the New York newsroom on Monday at 9 a.m. for an important message,” relayed by Tronc regional manager Grant Whitmore. “We are fundamentally restructuring the Daily News,” read the email. “We are reducing today the size of the editorial team by approximately 50 percent and re-focusing much of our talent on breaking news — especially in areas of crime, civil justice and public responsibility.”
Among those laid off from the paper where editor-in-chief Jim Rich and managing editor Kristen Lee.
As The Hill’s Joe Concha reported Monday, a study published in July by the Pew Research Center found, since January 2017, over 50 percent of the United States’ largest newspapers downsized their operations.