Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009 | 5:45 p.m.
The Henderson Home News and Boulder City News will suspend weekly publication effective with this week’s editions, the latest result of the worst economic and advertising downturn since World War II, which has slammed newspapers across the country.
Two other free-distribution Henderson editions of the Home News also are being placed on immediate hiatus, the Greenspun Media Group, publishers of the community newspapers, announced.
While scaling back its local newspaper enterprise, the company will continue to devote resources to delivering local news content through its acclaimed LasVegasSun.com Web site, affiliated interactive media and its numerous print titles in the region.
Newspaper advertisers and subscribers will be contacted over the next few weeks regarding the reconciliation of subscription and advertising accounts, the company said. The Boulder City office of the News will close.
Wherever possible, employees whose jobs are affected by the decision will be placed elsewhere in the organization, the company said.
Media advertising revenues have dropped substantially in the past 18 months, as soaring unemployment and declining retail sales have forced cuts in marketing budgets. Newspapers across the country have closed or imposed significant cuts in the face of the advertising crisis.
The Henderson Home News and Boulder City News are locally owned and operated by the Greenspun family, which has been active in southern Nevada media for more than 60 years. The Greenspuns also publish the daily Las Vegas Sun in a joint operating agreement with the Las Vegas Review Journal. Greenspun Media Group owns numerous other print, broadcast and online media, many of which are recognized leaders in their niche.
Under Greenspun ownership, the newspapers — which at one time numbered eight editions covering communities across the valley — won numerous industry awards for excellence.
Among the most prestigious awards, The Green Valley News was named 2006 Newspaper of the Year for large-circulation weeklies by Suburban Newspapers of America, which is composed of about 2,000 suburban newspapers.
The judges noted the paper's effective mix of hard news and news-features on the front page and praised its photography. "The Green Valley News is consistently above average, presenting its readers with a solid, reliable and attractive packaging of the week's news," they said.
That same year, reporter Abigail Goldman, now with the Las Vegas Sun, was named Journalist of the Year for weekly newspapers in SNA's annual editorial contest.
In 2007, the Boulder City News took third place in the Newspaper of the Year competition for papers with circulations up to 10,000. The judges praised the newspaper's enterprise reporting and its Arts & Style section. Its strong editorial voice pushed it into the ranks of the finalists, the judges said.
Over the years, both newspapers won numerous awards from the Nevada Press Association, including top honors for general excellence. In 2007, the Home News won Editorial of the Year, competing with all newspapers in the state, including the largest dailies.
A year later, the Home News was recognized for having the best editorial cartoon of any paper in the state.
But the papers' widely recognized editorial excellence was not enough to save them from the economic realities they faced.
“Given the present environment, we sadly have no choice but to take a break from the community newspaper business,” said Bruce D. Deifik, president of The Greenspun Corp. “We apologize to our communities for the suddenness of this news, and we hope our many loyal readers will now turn to our Web sites and our other outstanding publications for their news needs.”
Local news will be available on company Web sites, including the award-winning LasVegasSun.com Web site, which is updated on a regular basis.
Deifik said he expects the company’s other media to benefit from greater focus going forward, as the company concentrates on its key strategic titles and core businesses.
Other Greenspun print holdings include Las Vegas Magazine, Las Vegas Weekly, Vegas Magazine and In Business Las Vegas, along with the Niche Media group of 12 lifestyle magazines serving key markets across the nation, and an extensive custom publishing operation.
The Greenspun family also owns Vegas.com, the world’s largest city destination Web site, and has a substantial interest in KTUD-TV Channel 14.
In recent years Greenspun Media Group has concentrated on the development of online and interactive media, with an emphasis on local news gathering that has gained LasVegasSun.com numerous awards for its Web-based community coverage.
Newspapers in many other American cities have fallen victim to the recession, as well as the accelerating transition to online media as a source of news and advertising. In recent years, newspaper companies in the western cities of Denver, Seattle, Tucson and Phoenix have either dramatically scaled back their editions or eliminated them altogether, usually offering enhanced Web coverage in place of the previous printed editions.
“Traditional newspaper companies continue to provide most of the news about local communities,” Deifik said. “But this news is now being delivered to your computer or hand-held device more quickly and efficiently than the conventional newspaper ever could.
“We’ll still be delivering local news and information. The only difference is that it won’t be on newsprint.”