Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Farewell, Courier

This will have little or no impact on you, and perhaps most people here in "The 845." Yet it's another sign of the problems that are running through our economy and the media, specifically on the print side.

The Putnam County Courier, which began publishing in 1841, is no more.

Michael Risinit writes in today's Journal News (owned by Gannett):
The Courier has been owned by the Journal Register Co. of Yardley, Pa., since 1997. The financially troubled company is also closing seven weekly papers in Dutchess County this week. A telephone message and an e-mail seeking comment from the weeklies' publisher wasn't returned. The company also owns the Kingston Daily Freeman in Ulster County.

"It is with regret that we are no longer going to be able to serve our many loyal readers and advertisers," said Publisher Tom Cincotta on the Freeman's Web site, referring to the closings.
The whole story is here (at least for now).

The Courier was something I'd pick up from time to time. It didn't have a lot of news - just enough to give you a taste. It gave you a reminder that, at times, Putnam County could still be a nice country area, where people came for vacation homes (like my grandparents did). The paper had some hunting and fishing details, news of board meetings and politics, and some sports. It was a nice, friendly little newspaper. It certainly didn't have the flash that, say, the Greenwich Citizen and Post have.

Yet with the demise of the Courier, we're reminded once again that the old days are gone. People live here full-time now, and this is no longer the country. Putnam County is part of the suburbs, largely swallowed up by Westchester County to the south.

And the newspaper industry is trying to hang on.

This, sadly, is progress.

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