Killingworth Krier Set to Close
The Killingworth Krier, a staple in the Killingworth community, will close with its final issue. The Krier, first published in 1993 by the then-newly formed Killingworth Chamber of Commerce, highlights the significance of the ever-increasing loss of community media sources nationwide.
According to editor Karen Milano, the Krier will publish its last issue on June 1, calling it an end of an era. The publication has had several tenures with Milano at the helm, including since 2006, and she said the closing of the Krier is a true loss for the town.
“This means a lot to me, as it has truly been a labor of love for me personally for over 14 years, and many are truly sad to see it go. The Krier has been in circulation since 1993, the only full Killingworth news publication for all that time,” said Milano.
According to Milano, the Krier was delivered free to each Killingworth household. It included items about Town Hall meetings, obituaries, classifieds, and more.
“The Krier has always been delivered to each household in Killingworth free of charge. Town Hall news and meetings, obituaries, classifieds, church listings, spotlights on businesses, many nonprofit events and more were posted as a free service,” Milano said.
The Killingworth Chamber of Commerce was absorbed by the larger Middlesex Chamber of Commerce several years ago, and they inherited the Killingworth Krier with that acquisition. Milano said despite hard work and diligence, there was simply no solution to the paper’s financial dilemma.
“In its heyday, the Krier had up to 80 or so advertisers, but that number has dwindled in recent years to about half due to an increase in other avenues for local businesses to get their information out there. Despite the turning over of many a rock to see if we had a path forward, it became clear the financial feasibility of continuing a free publication such as ours was unsustainable,” Milano said.
Milano added, “What I will miss regarding my tenure as editor of the Krier is the connection and the privilege I have had to serve our community in this way. Through the process over the years of gathering the stories of our people, their triumphs, events, fundraising efforts, the meetings, awards, town news, even the sorrows. I have come to know so many inspiring people, and I’m grateful to live in such a vibrant and caring small-town community.”
The loss of another community print publication is a reminder of not only how critical many of these imprints are for the communities they cover but draws focus on a national problem. According to several online sources, including Statista.com, from 2005 to 2022, more than 2,200 American non-daily local print newspapers closed (7,400 to 5,100), and from 2008 to 2020, the number of American newspaper journalists fell by more than half.
According to those same sources, more than 2,500 American daily newspapers have closed or merged since 2005, and these figures do not include downsizing and drastic pruning of publications. The number of losses is only expected to be further negatively impacted by the pandemic, as many imprints struggle to maintain the advertising budgets required to keep newspapers profitable.
The final issue of the Killingworth Krier will be published on Thursday, June 1.