Pittsburgh becomes largest US city without a daily print newspaper

Pittsburgh becomes largest US city without a daily print newspaper
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Pittsburgh will hold the distinction of being the largest city in the U.S. without a daily print newspaper after the city's Post-Gazette informed readers it will cut its production schedule from seven days a week to five beginning this weekend.

The Post-Gazette, which launched 232 years ago and is one of the oldest newspapers in the country, had originally indicated in June the cutback would eventually be happening while noting the digital edition of the paper will continue.

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"It's the year 2018, and with the way people review and expect to review information and news, we think we're doing the right thing," Keith Wilkowski, vice president of legal and government affairs for Block Communications Inc., the company based in Toledo, Ohio, that owns the Post-Gazette, said on June 27 to Pittsburgh-based TribLive.com.

"We will be publishing a [digital] newspaper seven days a week," Wilkowski added. "And, frankly, we reach more people via online than through the print publication."

The union that represents 150 Post-Gazette newsroom employees, The Guild of Pittsburgh, quickly lashed out at the news in a tweet, calling the cutback "an insane, misguided plan" and "the beginning of the end." 

A Pew Research Center analysis in July found that more than half of the largest newspapers in the U.S. have laid off employees since January 2017.

That study found that nine of the 16 newspapers nationwide with circulations of 250,000 or more, or 56 percent, had experienced layoffs during a 16-month period ending in April.

The print side of newspapers has continued struggling to stay afloat as free and more convenient digital options are readily available for consumers.