Sunday, February 22, 2009


Hometown Papers on the Ropes

When I was growing up, the local papers in my part of Pennsylvania ranged from the mighty Pottstown Mercury (circulation 27,500) to the Kutztown Patriot, published by Berks-Mont Newspapers:

Berks-Mont Newspapers can trace its history back to the beginnings of The Boyertown Area Times. The Times was founded on June 15, 1857. It was first published as a German weekly paper, Der Bauer, by G. H. Sassaman, who continued the publication until March of 1870. The owner sold the business to an employee, Augustus Moyer, and left Boyertown owing creditors between $3,000 and $4,000.

History repeats itself: the Journal Register Company, a chain that owns the Mercury and Berks-Mont and innumerable other little papers (as well as the New Haven Register), filed for bankruptcy yesterday.

Postscript: While I was posting this today, both of Philadelphia's dailies also went bankrupt.

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