More bad news for print media. The Maui Weekly was closed by its publisher, Joe Bradley, on Monday. The weekly went to press this week with its last edition and its web site is no longer available.
Bradley is also publisher of The Maui News and general manager of Hawaii Publications Inc., which publishes The Maui Bulletin and Lahaina News.
Bradley told Maui Nowthat the Maui Weekly “was just never able to achieve the advertising base to make it a viable operation.”
The weekly employed three people and relied on freelance writers for content.
The paper’s editor, Debra Lordan, told Civil Beat that Bradley came to the paper’s Kihei office on Monday and told staff to “get our personal stuff out by Tuesday.”
“I didn’t get to thank my staff, writers, advertisers and the South Maui community before he shut us down,” she said by email. “That is my only regret.”
Lordan said that the small, weekly paper struggled in past years. In 2005, it was losing $300,000 a year. But she said the paper’s finances had improved and this year was a record year in terms of revenue.
Ultimately, she said that the paper failed to innovate.
“The structure of Maui Weekly’s parent company is inflexible, and incapable of change at a time when innovative transition was essential,” she said.
Lordan also suggested that Bradely’s decision to close the weekly was a way to reduce The Maui News’ competition for ad revenue.
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