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Reno News & Review suspends publication after coronavirus shutters local businesses

By Bob Conrad

The Reno News & Review, Reno’s alternative weekly newspaper for the past quarter century, is suspending publication after tomorrow’s issue.

The announcement was posted on the publication’s website and on social media.

“We are suspending publication indefinitely,” said Editor Brad Bynum. “There is some hope for some revival before too long, but we don’t have a timeline.

Bynum said the cuts are happening company-wide, meaning the Chico and Sacramento weeklies are also suspending publication.

The reason: The weekly’s revenue model was based on advertising from local businesses. That income has been virtually eliminated overnight.

“We were not in a position to take a hit from coronavirus,” Bynum said. “We don’t have the revenue to continue. Everybody’s getting laid off and it sucks.”

Bynum said tomorrow’s issue “will be a collector’s item. It’s bitter sweet and really sad, but I’m really proud of the work we’ve put out for the past quarter century. We’ve done a lot of groundbreaking reporting.”

Publisher Jeff vonKaenel has a column in tomorrow’s paper in which he says, “Over the years, we have experienced numerous crises. We were able to use our financial reserves to pull us through those times when advertising revenues were less than expenses. We were able to keep the paper going and to continue to provide local coverage.

“But over the last 10 years, as more and more businesses have moved their advertising dollars to Facebook and Google, the foundation of the media business model has crumbled. These large internet companies collected revenues without having to generate expensive local coverage. This has caused a crisis for most media companies, including the News & Review.”

This Is Reno is in a similar predicament: Our ad revenue, particularly from events-oriented businesses and nonprofits, has been severely reduced in just the past five days.

We are asking readers to subscribe. We also hope that businesses that can afford to advertise, to review our advertising options and to get in touch to help spread their messages through our robust online channels and the tens of thousands of readers we reach every day.

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