Medford newspaper closes

The Medford Mail Tribune, the state's fifth largest newspaper, shut down all operation on Friday. 

Oregon's fifth largest newspaper shut down operations after more than 100 year on Friday.

The Medford Mail Tribune, which traces its roots to 1909, ceased operations Friday. The move was announced on Wednesday by Rosebud Media CEO Steve Saslow, owner of the newspaper.

“The shuttering of this institution is a real loss for all constituents in Southern Oregon,” Saslow said in a statement released by the company.

The Mail Tribune was the first newspaper in Oregon to win a prestigious Pulitzer Prize, print journalism's top award. The paper won the 1934 Gold Medal for public service.

The award went to a series of stories the award citation noted has led to a “campaign against unscrupulous politicians in Jackson County.”

Saslow blamed a drop in advertising and the difficulty in hiring staff as reasons for shuttering the Medford operation. He had already ended print publication and turned the Medford newspaper into a digital-only publication. 

With a drop in paid print circulation in recent years, newspapers have stopped reporting circulation figures.

But a ranking of Oregon newspapers by size published by Agility PR, an international public relations and media monitoring firm' ranked the Mail Tribune as the fifth largest in the state.

The Oregonian in Portland is the largest, followed by the Eugene Register Guard, Salem Statesman-Journal, and Bend Bulletin.

Travis Moore, publisher of the Grants Pass Daily Courier said Wednesday that his newspaper could possibly hire some of the staff of the Mail Tribune and expand its coverage into neighboring Jackson County. 

The Medford metropolitan area is home to nearly 224,000 and is the biggest population center in southern Oregon.

Local ownership of the Medford papers shifted to national chains beginning in 1973 with the sale to Ottaway Newspapers. It was acquired by Dow Jones, the parent company of the Wall Street Journal, which in turn was bought by Rupert Murdoch's New Corporation in 2007.

The paper was sold to Newcastle Investment in 2013 and the operations of the newspapers were assigned to GateHouse Media.

GateHouse Media sold the Medford Mail Tribune and its sister publication, the Ashland Tidings, to Saslow for a reported $15 million in January 2017. Saslow closed the Tidings in 2021.

While it sold the Medford paper, GateHouse expanded in Oregon. It purchased the Eugene Register Guard from the Baker family in 2018.

GateHouse bought the Gannett chain in 2019, which included the Salem Statesman-Journal. GateHouse adopted the name of Gannett for the company. It has cut staffing at both the Eugene and Salem papers in recent years.

Gannett has been owned by a series of private equity firms with links to Fortress Investments, which is owned by the Softbank tech firm in Japan. Softbank was in negotiations last fall to sell Fortress to Mubadala Investment Co., a sovereign fund based in the Persian Gulf state of Abu Dubai. 

Saslow said the Mail Tribune company was working on refunds for subscribers, vendors and advertisers.

The Medford newspaper since 2019 rented space in its building to the newsroom of KTVL-TV, the local station owned by Sinclair Broadcasting Group, and the two news organizations shared content, the Oregonian reported this week.





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(2) comments


Stopped reading the Statesman Journal and the Oregonian about 20 yrs. ago when it became obvious their reporting was directed from somewhere besides Oregon. The Medford paper I did read occasionally on-line. Too bad!


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Late Oregon A.G. Dave Frohnmayer and Both D.A. Doug Harcleroad, Alex Gardner with the Lane County Sheriff, trapped me in a criminal record since 1987. They have changed the first letter in my first name to "S" So I couldn't expunge it!

My life with Liberal Klans in Oregon!

Arab/Muslim Americans are treated less than animals! We are called Sand N…

We are being prosecuted on a daily basis! High tech lynching, institutionally racism! Especially for Arab women!!

Oregon late A.G. Dave Frohnmayer had my SS# blocked & prevented me from getting employed, made me homeless and jobless!

Dave Frohnmayer was the one who started & initiated the fraud of Foreclosed-houses & taking over our homes!

His bank robber Rep.Bob Ackerman, Doug McCool, UO Prof. Margaret Hallock. Hired Scarlet Lee/Barnhart Associates. Forged my family’s signature. Gave our fully paid Condo to the thief Broker Bob Ogle, his mom Karen Ogle was working in the USA Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She administered the power of attorney to have my sister's signature, and added her son to the deed. Sold without my signature!

Bob Ackerman had never responded to the Summon from the Court, and the sheriff never served me or arrested him either!!

ThIs is what kind of criminal government we have in Oregon!!

Arrest Rep. Bob Ackerman, Doug McCool, Broker Bob Ogle, his mom Karen Ogle, Scarlet Lee/Barnhart Associates, UO Prof. Margaret Hallock, Wells Fargo

Both D.A. Doug Harcleroad, Alex Gardner told me they have NO JURISDICTION on Frohnmayer! Oregon criminal Officials are complicit with these crimes against me!

Both EPD, Lane County Sheriff Dept. and the FBI had been told to step down from investigating the bank robber Rep. Bob Ackerman & the rest of Lane County Criminal Officials are complicit with him!

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