THREE RIVERS, Mich. (WOOD) — A century-old newspaper that covers the Three Rivers area is shutting down for good.
On Wednesday, the Commercial-News announced it would issue its final issue of the newspaper on Dec. 10. Editor and publisher Dirk Milliman said the closure comes as a result of a financial situation that had persisted for several years.
“The reality became that we could not generate enough revenue to remain viable. We do not have enough regular advertisers who use our products to promote their businesses. The prominence of social media as changed the whole dynamic of information sharing, of news and news reporting. And like many small businesses, we never really recovered from the pandemic. Unfortunately, it is just our time,” said Milliman.
Commercial-News started publishing in Three Rivers at least weekly since 1895 and has been owned by the Milliman family since 1981, according to the paper.
“We have been shopping for a new owner for several years,” Milliman said. “But the people and the groups who used to buy local newspapers aren’t buying them anymore. And no one local seemed inclined to buy this long-standing local business.”
Milliman said that it was difficult to tell the staff, who had made the transition years earlier from a six-day publication to just twice each week.
“The Commercial-News has been an integral part of this community for 127 years. Who is going to report on the city commission, the school board or cover the local ball games?” asked Milliman.
The final edition of the Commercial-News will be delivered to customers on Dec. 10. Subscribers who have already paid in advance for delivery can choose to have part of their remaining balance donated to a local charity. They can choose between Three Rivers Area Community Foundation or Three Rivers Promise, the newspaper said.
The closure follows a trend the country has been seeing across the board. In June, The Associated Press reported that the U.S. was seeing newspapers die at a rate of two per week. In Kent County, the Cedar Springs Post reached out to readers early this year asking for help but eventually succumbed to financial issues and shut down in September.