Scripps Closing ‘Birmingham Post-Herald,’ Dissolving JOA

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By: E&P Staff

The afternoon daily in Birmingham, Ala., will be no more after this Friday, The E. W. Scripps Company, owner of the newspaper, announced today.

The closing of The Post-Herald, a five-day afternoon newspaper, also marks the end of a joint operating agreement between Scripps and Advance Publications Inc., owner of the seven-day morning paper, The Birmingham News, which manages the printing, marketing, and distribution of both Birmingham newspapers. The JOA was scheduled to run until 2015.

According to a Scripps statement, “the economics of publishing The Post-Herald were no longer favorable.”

The latest FAS-FAX in April showed the p.m. daily with an average circulation of just 7,544, down from 8,948 the previous year.

?The Post-Herald has a long tradition of journalistic excellence and community service, but Scripps was left with no choice but to face economic realities,? Richard A. Boehne, The E. W. Scripps Company’s executive vice president and head of the company’s newspaper division, said in his statement. ?The Post-Herald’s talented and dedicated staff produces an excellent newspaper, but unfortunately the Birmingham market has made it clear that it will no longer support an afternoon edition.?

Scripps has developed a severance plan for The Post-Herald’s 43 editorial department employees and will attempt to place some at other Scripps newspapers. Scripps operates 20 other daily newspapers in 18 markets across the country.

The Post-Herald traces its roots as a Scripps newspaper back to 1921 when the company established the Birmingham Post. In 1950, the Post merged with The Birmingham Age-Herald to become The Post-Herald. As part of the transaction, The Post-Herald and The Birmingham News created the joint operating agreement and merged the business and production operations of the two newspapers, but maintained separate editorial products.

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