Monday, November 28, 2011

Humboldt Beacon to Shine No More

Posted By on Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 4:57 PM


After 109 years of reporting news from the Eel River Valley, the Humboldt Beacon will cease to exist after Dec. 8, Times-Standard publisher Dave Kuta announced today. And in another sign of bad times for Denver-based parent company MediaNews Group, the T-S itself will cut back to six editions per week, discontinuing its Monday editions.

Below you'll see the announcement:

Times-Standard Publisher Dave Kuta announced today that the Humboldt Beacon will cease publication on Dec. 8 after serving residents of the Eel River Valley for more than 100 years.

Kuta also told staff that the Times-Standard will no longer publish a printed edition on Mondays, beginning Jan. 9. Monday stories will be available on the web.

In a memo to staff, Kuta cited the struggling economy as the reason for the changes.

"None of these decisions were made easily," Kuta said. "The next few weeks will be difficult ones, but I'm confident we will be able to move forward in a stronger position to face the challenges ahead."

The Humboldt Beacon marked 109 years of reporting news throughout the Eel River Valley in March. The Humboldt Beacon was purchased in 2005 by MediaNews Group, which is also the parent-company of the Times-Standard.

In April 2009, the Humboldt Beacon moved out of its downtown Fortuna office and into the main Times-Standard building in Eureka.

"We're making choices now that we wouldn't have five to 10 years ago, just because of the economy," Kuta said. "Newspapers are often the first to feel the effects as the economy goes down."

There will be a full story in tomorrow's newspaper and in Thursday's Humboldt Beacon. Read the full text of Kuta's memo below:

To the staff of the Times-Standard, Humboldt Beacon, Tri-City Weekly and the Redwood Times,

The last few years have been difficult ones for our industry and the economy as a whole. Like every business working to adapt in our struggling marketplace, we've been faced with some difficult decisions.

As of Dec. 8, the Humboldt Beacon, which has served Eel River Valley residents for more than 100 years, will cease publication. It will continue in spirit in a weekly page inside the Times-Standard that will be dedicated to the news and events of these special communities.

Starting in January, the Times-Standard will no longer publish a printed newspaper on Mondays, instead that day's stories will appear on the web edition. The last printed Monday edition will be on Jan. 2.

It's an industry trend that has been adopted by numerous papers across the nation as papers face declining advertising revenue in a down economy coupled with increased production and distribution costs.

None of these decisions were made easily. The next few weeks will be difficult ones, but I'm confident we will be able to move forward in a stronger position to face the challenges ahead.

Over the next days and weeks, I will be available to discuss these changes in upcoming meetings.

Dave Kuta

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Ryan Burns

Ryan Burns

Ryan Burns worked for the Journal from 2008 to 2013, covering a diverse mix of North Coast subjects, from education, politics and marijuana to human suspension, sex parties and amateur fight contests. He won awards for investigative reporting, feature stories and news coverage.

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