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The Evansville Press To Shut Down

September 11, 1998

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) _ After 92 years of printing afternoon editions, The Evansville Press will cease publication New Year’s Eve.

Publisher Robert Hartmann of Hartmann Publications made the announcement Thursday at a meeting of the newspaper’s staff.

``This is a sad day for all of us at The Press and, I think, for many in the community,″ said Bill Jackson, editor of The Press.

The move had been anticipated since 1993 when E.W. Scripps Co., the owner of The Evansville Courier, announced that it would not extend the joint operating agreement between the two papers. The agreement expires Dec. 31.

Under the agreement dating to 1938, The Press, an afternoon paper, shared the morning Courier’s accounting, sales, printing and distribution departments. The papers maintained separate editorial operations.

Without the agreement, The Press would have had to develop those departments on its own, despite daily circulation that has dropped more than 40 percent since the mid-1980s. Circulation is currently about 22,000, compared with the Courier’s 62,000.

Hartmann said The Press fell victim to pressures that have affected many afternoon newspapers. Readers have ``more things to do in the evenings. TV to watch. That’s what’s happened here,″ he said.

The Press’ name has been purchased by The Courier, and the morning newspaper will become The Evansville Courier and Press beginning Jan. 1.

Severance packages have been prepared for 36 employees who will lose their jobs.

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