The Washington Post on Wednesday announced it is shutting down its Express commuter newspaper and will publish its final edition Thursday.
The paper's management cited financial losses when explaining its decision to shutter the 16-year-old paper, which mostly targeted Metro commuters.
While they declined to provide specific numbers, management said the printed paper had recently begun to lose money.
The Express was distributed free of charge every morning by hawkers and in bins at Metro stops.
Express Executive Editor Dan Caccavaro told the Post that it was distributed to around 190,000 people per day at its peak in 2007.
That figure dropped significantly in recent years in part because of falling Metro ridership and WiFi on trains allowing passengers to read news on their smartphones.
Caccavaro noted this change in a farewell column that will be published in Express on Thursday.
“This Monday morning, as I rode the train to work ... three people on my crowded Blue Line train were reading Express (thank you!),” he wrote. “One man had his nose in an old-fashioned book. Almost everyone else was staring at a phone.”
The Express employed 20 journalists. They will be laid off as a result of the paper’s closure.
The Washington Post Guild slammed the newspaper over the Express’s closing.
“This announcement came the day before operations ceased, with no advance warning,” the union wrote in a statement Wednesday.
“These employees, many of them young women, performed the same jobs as other staff in our newsroom for substantially lesser pay,” it said.
Express workers were not included in the union, which “would have protected them only by legal and bureaucratic fictions that labeled them a different entity within our company” it added.
--This report was updated at 3:08 p.m.