BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) _ The Baton Rouge State-Times published its last edition Wednesday after almost 150 years in print.

The closure was blamed on declining afternoon readership and plummeting advertising revenue brought on by the national recession.

Circulation peaked at 45,718 in 1976. By this year, it had dropped to 26,633.

The newspaper was bought by Charles Manship Sr. in 1909. The family company also prints the 84,480-circulation Morning Advocate, which remains in operation.

Closing the State-Times was like ''shutting down your father and putting him out to pasture,'' said Charles Manship Sr.'s son, Doug, who soon is to retire as publisher.

Born in 1842 as the Democratic Advocate, the newspaper was a highly partisan publication, championing the Democratic Party against the dominant Whig Party.

As the country slid toward civil war, the paper, then known as the Daily Advocate, came down on the side of slavery and ''Southern rights.'' During the Civil War, the paper suspended publication shortly before federal troops occupied Baton Rouge. Two owners fought for the Confederacy.

After the war, the Daily Advocate became the Tri-Weekly and Weekly Advocate. The papers were combined and renamed when Manship took over.

During the 1920s and 1930s, it was known for scathing editorials

targeting Gov. Huey P. Long, who survived an impeachment drive in 1929.