Bob Dylan wrote a song called “The Times They Are A Changin’.” The model for print is taking a beating from the information age. The first mechanical system made for printing communication was assembled by Johannes Gutenberg around 1440. The newspaper industry really started picking up in the 1930’s and early 1940’s, but The Ann Arbor News was started in 1835 under various names.
No one would have seen it coming that 174 years later the newspaper of the hometown of Pulse2 LLC, the University of Michigan, Google’s AdWords program (opened 2 years ago), Borders Books, Domino’s Pizza, and Zingerman’s Delicatessen would be shutting down.
The announcement of the shut-down was made by Laurel Champion. Champion reported that the “business model is not sustainable.” Advertising revenue dropped 20% more than the same month the year before. “This isn’t about abandoning local journalism, it’s about serving it up in a very different way.”
AnnArbor.com LLC will be launched later this year and will be serving as a replacement to learn more about local news. AnnArbor.com will print the news twice per week. Employees at The Ann Arbor News were welcome to apply to AnnArbor.com and will receive one week severance packages plus extended medical benefits.
Champion herself will be an Executive VP of AnnArbor.com.
The last issue will be printed in July 2009.