E.W. Scripps Rings Out the Old (Newspapers)

E.W. Scripps Co. closed out 2007 by shuttering two afternoon newspapers, “The Cincinnati Post” and “The Kentucky Post.” And, it started the new year with the launch of KYPost.com, a Web site that promises local news, sports, and entertainment information about northern Kentucky.

Traffic from “The Cincinnati Post” Web site is being redirected to KYPost.com. The Web site will also include relevant content from Scripps-owned Cincinnati TV station WCPO.

Beth Lawton, manager, digital media at the Newspaper Association of America, said newspapers might have some challenges selling online to advertisers who are more comfortable with print products. “However, it’s really about selling the newspaper’s audience, and newspaper Web site users are a very desirable audience. They tend to be more educated, more affluent and more savvy in technologically and online shopping than non-newspaper Web site users,” she wrote today in an e-mail to ClickZ News.

Scripps has been wearing its interactive intentions like a heart on its sleeve.

Last year, E.W. Scripps said it planned to divide the company: cable and interactive elements will be operated by Scripps Networks Interactive and its traditional print and TV businesses will remain under the E. W. Scripps Company.

The shuttering of “The Cincinnati Post” and “The Kentucky Post” is no surprise.

As readership habits changed, afternoon daily newspapers struggled, many switching to morning distribution or folding.

The Scripps papers in Covington, KY, and Cincinnati had been operating under a 30-year joint operating agreement with Gannett, owner of “The Cincinnati Enquirer.” Back in 2004, Gannett informed Scripps it didn’t intend to renew the agreement, which expired Dec. 31, 2007.

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