Iron Range daily newspapers to merge

Today, the Mesabi Daily News and Hibbing Daily Tribune announced that the newspapers would merge operations beginning Wednesday, July 8.

The new Mesabi Tribune will publish six days per week, making it the only remaining daily newspaper in northern Minnesota.

Print publications have been reeling from lost ad revenue amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These immediate challenges joined the long term problem of declining ad revenue as readers moved to the internet starting 20 years ago. Meantime, corporate consolidation throughout the industry shrunk everything from editorial staffing to the physical size of newspapers.

Last month the Duluth News Tribune switched to a twice-weekly print format, while delivering daily news online. The two Iron Range papers went a different direction.

The Hibbing and Mesabi papers are both owned by Adams Publishing Group. They had already been collaborating on news coverage with each other and the twice-weekly Grand Rapids Herald-Review.

In fact, the two papers are organized in a way that will allow this move to be fairly seamless with a better overall print product. The question is whether readers will follow their old paper to the new one.

I hope they do. As far as my editor knows I will remain a columnist for the new Mesabi Tribune, continuing the work I’ve done for the Hibbing Daily Tribune these past 19 years. That means my column will finally reach the full length of the Mesabi Iron Range, something that I’m very excited about.

We roll with the changes. They don’t have to be all bad. I’m working on a column for July 5 about the legacy of the Hibbing Daily Tribune. And then I’ll be writing under a new banner. See you in the future.


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