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Pittsburgh Tribune-Review to cut print newspaper

Trib+Total+Media+plans+to+focus+more+on+local+coverage+without+its+print+publication%2C+as+of+November.%0AStephen+Caruso+%7C+Senior+Staff+Photographer
Trib Total Media plans to focus more on local coverage without its print publication, as of November.
Stephen Caruso | Senior Staff Photographer

Trib Total Media plans to focus more on local coverage without its print publication, as of November. Stephen Caruso | Senior Staff Photographer

Trib Total Media plans to focus more on local coverage without its print publication, as of November. Stephen Caruso | Senior Staff Photographer

By Lauren Rosenblatt / News Editor

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Trib Total Media announced Wednesday that its flagship publication, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, will cease printing a physical, daily newspaper and will only publish online beginning in November.

The change will require laying off about 106 full- and part-time employees, in addition to 95 employees who took voluntary buyouts earlier this month. The company plans to focus more on local coverage of Allegheny County while offering a free “customizable” version of the paper online, according to a statement on the Trib’s website.  

President and CEO Jennifer Bertetto said in an announcement to employees that the company plans to increase staff covering Westmoreland and Valley News Dispatch editions of the paper.

The company will continue publishing 11 of its 14 weekly newspaper publications.

Luis Fábregas, the Deputy Managing Editor for the Tribune-Review, said in the statement that the paper’s digital side will focus on politics, technology, health and breaking news.

Trib Total Media began restructuring after owner and publisher Richard Mellon Scaife died in 2014. With buyouts, layoffs and the closing of several company’s newspapers, Trib Total Media had worked to stabilize the company since then, according to the statement.

Nationally, average weekday circulation of newspapers fell by 7 percent the next year, the greatest decline since 2010, according to Pew Research Center’s “State of the News Media 2016” report. While digital circulation increased in 2015, it only accounted for about 22 percent of total circulation.

According to the same report, newspaper employment rates from around the country dropped by about 10 percent in 2015.

In Pittsburgh, the Tribune-Review’s circulation for Monday through Thursday, combined with Sunday circulation, totaled 287,590 as of June 2016, according to data from the Alliance for Audited Media. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette had total circulation for the same days of 419,006.

Bertetto said in the statement, the “intense financial reality” forced the company to make further revisions.

“These changes, although difficult, are necessary to ensure our long-term viability. I am incredibly confident in the direction our organization is heading,” she said.

 

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Pittsburgh Tribune-Review to cut print newspaper