E.W. Scripps Co.’s Scripps Howard News Service, which fed syndicated stories to papers across the U.S. since World War I, plans to shut down, becoming the latest symbol of readers’ shift away from print media.
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services, a joint venture of McClatchy Co. and Tribune Co., will take over Scripps Howard’s clients, according to a statement today. The transition is expected to be completed by January, the companies said.
The Scripps Howard News Service, founded in 1917, supplied newspaper clients with Washington coverage and news from around the world, as well as photos, commentary and editorial cartoons. The operation was a remnant of a once-thriving era of wire services and news agencies, when an insatiable newspaper industry had numerous publications in every city and multiple editions per day. In an age when Internet news is typically free, newspaper consolidation, declining advertising sales and shrinking circulation have crimped demand for wire copy.
The McClatchy-Tribune venture will be expanded to include the most popular Scripps Howard features. The move will help Cincinnati-based Scripps, which owns daily newspapers in 13 markets, commit more resources to Washington coverage and investigative journalism, according to the statement.
“MCT is pleased to add good journalism from such a respected brand and eager to serve Scripps Howard News Service clients,” Debra Leithauser, editor of the McClatchy-Tribune service, said in the statement.
Scripps’s stock fell 1.7 percent to $17.94 today in New York. Shares of the company, which has offset declining newspaper revenue with a growing broadcast-television division, have climbed 66 percent this year.
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