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 AJR  The Beat

From AJR,   September 1999  issue

Another One Bites the Dust   

The Indianapolis News is scheduled to fold October 1, after 130 years.


By Carol Guensburg
Carol Guensburg (carol.guensburg@verizon.net) is senior editor for the Journalism Center on Children & Families, a University of Maryland professional program - and a nonprofit. It receives primary support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Guensburg spent 14 years as an editor and reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel after working for three other papers.     


The sorry saga of death in the after-noon continues with the Indianapolis News, scheduled to fold October 1 after 130 years. "The Great Hoosier Daily," which in 1995 had largely merged its staff with that of its morning sister paper, the Star, nonetheless fell victim to increased media competition, changing lifestyles and declining readership. Its circulation had sunk to 33,175, down from 111,000 a decade ago. "A different voice is being lost," mourns Frank Caperton, vice president of news and executive editor of both papers. Only 20 editorial staffers work exclusively for the News, Caperton says; he expects to trim the combined editorial and library workforce to roughly 265 positions, from 285, "without any layoffs." The Star, Indiana's largest paper, circulates 235,790 copies daily. Caperton's own voice will disappear from the news-paper when he retires in December at age 63. A 37-year veteran journalist, he came to Indianapolis Newspapers in 1984 as managing editor for the News, became ME at the Star in 1990, and oversaw the merger five years later.