McDuffie, Edgefield papers to close

Two regional weekly newspapers, The McDuffie Mirror in Thomson and The Citizen News, of Edgefield, will close in mid-April, it was announced Wednesday.

Their readers will be offered refunds for subscriptions and any commitment of their advertisers will be compensated.

The Mirror was created almost nine years ago as an extension of The Augusta Chronicle portfolio of community newspapers. Although popular for its community coverage, it could not sustain itself financially.

“No decision to close a business is made lightly. 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 5-year trend in profits and losses,” said Parish Howard, the publisher of both The News and Farmer in Louisville and The McDuffie Mirror.

Last year’s loss of legal advertising revenue to the rival McDuffie Progress also has been difficult to offset, he said.

Profitability of The Citizen News also eroded, making it necessary to close to avoid further losses. The Citizen News began service to Edgefield County’s Ridge section when it was created in 1982 with the merger of other newspapers.

The newspaper has been a part of the Barnwell Newspaper Group, also a division of The Augusta Chronicle portfolio of newspapers.

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