90-year-old Ypsilanti Press closes unceremoniously p. 10

By: Editorial Staff Singleton closes another newspaper
WITH NO TIME to say good-bye after 90 years, the Ypsilanti (Mich.) Press folded June 27.
Employees were told of the shuttering as they reported to work on the morning of the 27th.
Garden State Newspapers, affiliated with William Dean Singleton's Media News Group, sold the paper's subscription list, its morgue and its masthead to Booth Newspapers, publisher of the nearby rival Ann Arbor News.
Beginning with the June 28 edition, the News is publishing a Ypsilanti edition carrying the Press masthead.
Garden State chief operating officer Anthony Tierno said the story of the Press is all too familiar.
The 14,621-circulation evening newspaper ? which also had morning single-copy sales and which sold for a dime less than the News ? had more or less held its circulation, losing fewer than an average 2,000 copies of daily circulation over the past five years.
But advertising was hit badly when the local economy sank in the wake of the closing of General Motors' Willow Run auto plant, Tierno said. The final blow, he said, was the loss of two big commercial printing contracts.
"One was due to capacity," Tierno said. "The customer wanted to go larger than we could handle. And the other, the Daily at the University of Michigan, also required state-of-the-art facilities we did not have."
Tierno said no decision has been made on what to do with the Press building, which Garden State owns. The presses ? a four-unit Goss Urbanite and a two-unit Urbanite ? will likely go to another paper in the chain, he said.
In selling the subscription list and masthead to Booth Newspapers, the Press returns, at least in spirit, to an old home.
Booth bought the paper in 1962 from the Handy family, which had operated the Press since 1917. In 1968, Booth sold the paper to Panax Corp.
Garden State acquired the paper in 1986.
The Press was founded in 1904. In recent years Singleton acquired and later closed the Paterson News, Hudson Dispatch and Elizabeth Daily Journal in New Jersey. He also acquired and later sold the Dallas Times Herald to an associate, who closed it a year later.


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