HAN Network is shutting down five of its southwestern Connecticut weekly newspapers, with the company’s CEO citing “economic forces” in a notification to subscribers.
Ridgefield-based HAN is ending publication of the Easton Courier, Monroe Courier, Redding Pilot, Stratford Star and Weston Forum. The company will continue publishing the Darien Times, Milford Mirror, New Canaan Advertiser, Ridgefield Press, Shelton Herald, Trumbull Times and Wilton Bulletin.
Subscribers can inquire about refunds online, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 203-293-9744.
“Newspapering is a business we truly love and it saddens us to leave after such a long run,” stated HAN Network CEO Martin Hersam in a notification to Stratford Star subscribers. “Unfortunately we could not operate at a financial loss ... any longer.”
Newspapers and other publishers were hit with additional costs this year after the Trump administration slapped tariffs on newsprint imports from Canada as the U.S. Department of Commerce investigated claims that Canadian producers were engaging in unfair trade practices by underpricing the paper they sold.
In August, the U.S. International Trade Commission overturned those duties on grounds U.S. newsprint producers were not being harmed by the prices set by Canadian importers.
“There was little benefit (to the tariffs), while the harm extended to our local newspapers, the reporters and staff they employ, and the communities they serve,” U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., told Hearst Connecticut Media in August. “These tariffs made no sense.”
Includes prior reporting by John Burgeson.
Alex.Soule@scni.com; 203-842-2545; @casoulman