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Ann Arbor News dies, reborn online

By AFP

The Ann Arbor News announced Monday that it will follow in the footsteps of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer by abandoning its daily newspaper format in favor of delivering stories online.

The 174-year-old Michigan newspaper, operated by the Booth Newspapers arm of Advance Publications, said it would publish its final print edition in July.

The daily newspaper will die only to be replaced by an Internet news operation, AnnArbor.com.

"This is a difficult day for all of us at The Ann Arbor News," publisher Laurel Champion said in a letter published in Monday's edition.

"As we say hello to AnnArbor.com, we will say goodbye to The Ann Arbor News."

The news website will be complemented by a "print product" two days each week, according to the publisher.

The announcement comes as three other Michigan newspapers revealed they would stop publishing daily and, instead, provide printed editions only on three days of each week.

Michigan is among the US states hardest hit by job losses, with the unemployment rate swelling to 11.6 percent in January.

"While we are inviting current Ann Arbor News employees to apply for positions with the new company, it is with a heavy heart that I let you know that job losses will be unavoidable," the publisher wrote.

The shift to online publication results from readers and advertisers turning increasingly to the Internet to get news and spread messages, Champion noted.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer printed its final edition last week and became an online-only publication.

As the 146-year-old newspaper rolled off the presses for the last time, SeattlePI.com, the website of the P-I, as the daily was known, looked toward the digital future.

"One era ends, another begins," read a headline on a story on the P-I website.

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