Ann Arbor Kills Its Newspaper In Order To Save It

By Andrew Gauthier 


At first blush, Ann Arbor is an unlikely place to earn the dubious distinction of being the first good-size municipality in the U.S. to give up on its only daily newspaper. A2, as the town is known, is more or less the beauty queen of Michigan: pretty, confident and seemingly immune to the problems of her peers. It still has a downtown with sidewalk cafs and quirky local stores. Its biggest employers are two universities and two hospitals, and it has weathered the recession better than most of the rest of the state. Nearly half its residents have graduate degrees. How could the paper die in a place like this?

The answer is that it didn’t die. It was killed by its owners in a high-stakes gamble to try to create a new and more profitable enterprise. (In the past nine years, the paper lost more than half its classified-ad pages.) The Ann Arbor News ceased to exist on July 23. On July 24, was launched. The new website has a paper version–also called, oddly,–that comes out on Thursdays and Sundays. More…