After almost nine years in the Thomson market, The McDuffie Mirror will conclude publication April 19.
Although popular for its news content and community coverage, The Mirror could not sustain itself financially. The newspaper was created almost nine years ago as an extension of The Augusta Chronicle portfolio of community newspapers.
“No decision to close a business is made lightly,” said Parish Howard, the publisher of The McDuffie Mirror and The News and Farmer in Louisville. “The Mirror has been a dedicated news provider in McDuffie County and its employees have not only done a great job at the newspaper, but care deeply about this community. This decision was based entirely on the future economics of the market, the financial realities of the current recession, and an analysis of the five-year trend in profits and losses.”
Last year’s loss of legal advertising revenue to the rival The McDuffie Progress also has been difficult to offset.
Launched in June 2003, The Mirror quickly became known for its intense local coverage when it launched regular public forums with elected officials and people running for office. The sessions were broadcast over the local radio station and streamed live at The Mirror’s Web site. The newspaper brought readers many news features, sports and leading headlines about major events, including a special tribute to Thomson football coach Luther Welsh in retirement and death.
“Our staff has the community at the front of its mission, staying late at night and flexible to news events important to daily life. They give their all, and I’m proud of the service put forth for this newspaper and the community,” said Garth Snow, The McDuffie Mirror editor.
Its readers will be offered refunds for their subscriptions and the commitment of its advertisers will be compensated.
The Mirror’s employees will be eligible to apply for other jobs with its parent company, Morris Communications, or accept a severance package following closure of the newspaper.