Wednesday, July 17, 2024

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After 49 Years, Weston Forum Closes

After 49 years of publication, the Weston Forum plus four other HAN Network newspapers will shut down this week, its publisher announced today.

“Due to economic forces buffeting our industry, we are rescaling our business again,” Martin V. Hersam, publisher and CEO, said in a letter to his readers.

Hersam said volatility of the newsprint market “made our options clear” about the company’s dozen community newspapers and websites.

“The best efforts of our incredible staff and years of strategic planning, retooling and restructuring could not overcome the economic realities of tepid advertising and subscriber interest in this market,” Hersam said. “We just could not sustain a publishing business here any longer.”

In January, Hersam unveiled a new business model that consolidated the Weston Forum, Redding Pilot and Easton Courier into the Aspetuck News. Now, all three of those consolidated publications, as well as the company’s Stratford Star, will be closed.

Hersam said HAN will continue to publish the Darien Times, New Canaan Advertiser, Wilton Bulletin, Ridgefield Press, Milford Mirror, Trumbull Times and Shelton Herald.

“Weston, like the other markets we are exiting, is a beautiful town with remarkable residents, and we enjoyed being their print and digital local news source,” Hersam said.

“Newspapering is a business we truly love, and it saddens us to leave after such a long run,” he added. “Unfortunately we could not operate at a financial loss here any longer.”

Meanwhile, there were industry rumors that the balance of the Hersam newspapers may be up for sale with the likeliest buyer Hearst Connecticut Media, which operates competing newspapers in some of the Hersam communities.

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