In Scranton, Pa., Another P.M. Paper Says Good Night

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By: Jennifer Saba

The Times-Shamrock Company, publishers of The Tribune and The Scranton Times both in Scranton, Penn., announced today that they will merge the two papers to form the morning daily The Times-Tribune. The Tribune publishes in the morning while the Scranton Times runs in the afternoon.

George V. Lynett, publisher of the Scranton Times, whose family owns the company, told E&P that the decision was a ?difficult one,? considering his grandfather founded the Scranton Times over 100 years ago. ?It’s going to open up some new and exciting opportunities,? he said.

When asked why the company decided to shutter the afternoon paper now, Lynett cited several reasons, including dwindling readership among younger readers and short shelf life.

Both papers are published as broadsheets and contain 36 to 40 pages. The company combined the operations of the paper, which includes 340 full time employees. Lynett said he hopes to avoid layoffs through attrition and transfers. By end of day, the publisher will have conducted 5 employee meetings regarding the new plans.

The Times-Tribune will make its debut this summer. The Scranton Times will continue to publish until the launch of the revamped paper.

Lynett confirmed that the decision to run only a morning paper was not ?financially driven.? The company expects some possible savings, though Lynett declined to say how much, but plans are underway to expand the new paper by 4 pages and add additional coverage areas in neighboring counties. The company also announced it will invest $4 million to its printing facility.

ABC reported that for the six-month period ending September 2004, the Tribune had a daily circulation of 32,745; the Scranton Times had a daily circ of 26,443.

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