Three Rivers Residents Need to Get Their News Elsewhere Amid Newspaper Shutdown
Robert Tomlinson, News Director at Commercial-News in Three Rivers, prefaced the news on social media by saying, "One of the hardest posts I've had to share..."
After 127 years of bringing the latest news to residents of Three Rivers and its surrounding communities, the longstanding newspaper will cease operations later this week with the final edition of the newspaper to be published this Saturday, December 10.
Commercial-News Editor and Publisher Dirk Milliman said,
The decision to continue or not continue this historic publication was not an easy one...but our current financial situation brought the decision to a head
Not surprisingly Milliman cites a combination of diminishing revenue, lack of advertising clientele, social media, and the Covid-19 pandemic as reasons for the sudden closure. Adding,
The prominence of social media has changed the whole dynamic of information sharing...and like many small businesses, we never really recovered from the pandemic. Unfortunately, it is just our time.
What About the Staff?
As is often the case in these situations, the staff at Commercial-News were only just notified about the news on Tuesday, December 6, just prior to the announcement to the general public.
Though the amount of staff at Commercial-News is small, Milliman described them as dedicated; many of them stuck it out at the newspaper throughout several publication changes. Says Milliman, "It was hard telling them that their jobs were ending."
What If You Have a Subscription?
Subscribers should receive the final edition of the newspaper on Saturday, December 10 as scheduled. For those that have paid in advance, subscribers will need to notify the company at (269) 279-7488 and choose one of two charities to donate their balances to: Three Rivers Area Community Foundation or Three Rivers Promise. Their website makes no mention of refunds.
History of Commercial-News
According to their website, the newspaper has been published at least weekly since 1895. At one time the area saw fierce competition from 7 area newspapers; Commercial-News is the last remaining among them. The Milliman family has operated Three Rivers Commercial, Inc. since purchasing the company in 1981.