Thursday, January 1, 2009

Fang's AsianWeek shuts down

AsianWeek will print its final edition on Friday (Jan. 2) due to declining readership and advertising revenue, editor and publisher Ted Fang announced Wednesday. The English-language newspaper, which started in 1979, has a circulation of 60,000. Fang said that nearly all of the paper's 11 employees will be let go. Asian Week will continue online and special editions may be printed.

"There are fewer major newspapers, fewer newspaper readers and fewer newspaper advertisers than ever before," Fang and his brother, James Fang, the president of the company, wrote in a letter to readers that will be published in the last edition Friday. "A faltering economy has accelerated the decline," they wrote.

Ted Fang is part of the family that owned the Independent newspaper, a weekly that served San Francisco and San Mateo counties for several years. In 2000, the Fangs acquired the San Francisco Examiner from Hearst Corp. along with a $66 million subsidy over three years which was intended to keep the Examiner alive, and continue the tradition of two daily newspapers in San Francisco. The Fangs changed the Examiner from a paid newspaper to a free tabloid and sold it to conservative billionaire Phil Anschutz in 2004. Anschutz also bought the Independent titles, which were folded into the Examiner.

Here's the Chron's story and the AP's version. (Photo credit: Chronicle file, Mike Kepka)

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