Multiple newspaper in the metro area to cease operations in April

Several local newspapers in the metro area will cease operations this month.

The Jordan Independent, Chaska Herald, and Chanhassen Villager will publish their last issues on April 25, while Shakopee Valley News, Prior Lake American, Savage Pacer, and Southwest Saturday will release their last publication on April 27.

Some of the papers have been around for over a century; Shakopee Valley News and the Chaska Herald have been publishing papers for over 160 years, while the Jordan Independent was founded 140 years ago.

The company’s sister newspapers — The Hutchinson Leader, Litchfield Independent Review and Crow River Press (collectively known as Crow River Media) — will publish their final editions April 24.

The papers are published by Southwest News Media. Southwest News Media and Crow River Media were acquired in 2020 by MediaNews Group, a Denver-based media company which also owns the Saint Paul Pioneer Press.

In a statement Thursday, the publisher attributed the closures to the challenges presented by the pandemic and the changes in the media industry, such as the move from print publications toward digital options.

“The COVID-19 pandemic took a significant toll on newspaper businesses as well, with advertising revenue falling 25% to 50%. Local advertising revenue is the primary revenue source for most weekly newspapers. Hundreds of newspapers across the country have closed or downsized, reduced their publication schedules and made other cost-cutting measures,” said Southwest News Media.