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Today Newspapers ceases publishing

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Suburban Dallas chain Today Newspapers ceases publishing

12:00 AM CDT on Friday, July 3, 2009

By JOHN COLEMAN / The Dallas Morning News

Today Newspapers, which publishes community newspapers serving the southern Dallas suburbs, succumbed to the pressures of the economic downturn and delivered its last editions Thursday.

The company had two daily editions: one serving Cedar Hill, Duncanville, DeSoto and Lancaster, and the other serving Grand Prairie. But because of the loss of advertising revenue, Today is shutting down for good, publisher Kim Petty said.

"Everybody was hurt by the economy. Most of our advertisers were mom-and-pop-type stores, and they just couldn't keep it up," Petty said. "There is just not a lot of hope for small-town newspapers."

Petty said the decision to cease publishing was made after efforts to find a buyer were unsuccessful.

Other community newspapers such as The Oak Cliff Tribune have also been forced to shut down because of economic pressures.

Petty said the paper planned to notify readers of the shutdown through a message on its Web site.

Current circulation figures were unavailable, but before consolidation of editions early this year, circulation was 1,652 for Cedar Hill, 2,450 for Duncanville, 1,133 for DeSoto and 4,200 for Lancaster, according to the Texas Press Association. Grand Prairie figures were not available. Recent employment figures for the company were not available.

Mike Hodges, executive director of the Texas Press Association, said it is not just small-market papers that are struggling, but all media.

"The thing that is missed is areas such as broadcast, billboard companies, any and all media are having trouble right now," he said.

"It is just so unfortunate all these communities are going to have to go without a paper."

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