From the miscellaneous drawer - Newspapers: Are they dying?

A day isn’t complete for me unless there is a newspaper to read.
Coming from a family of five and being the youngest, I learned patience. There was a hierarchy to the order of reading and Dad was first.
In the 1960s I subscribed to the Ely Miner and got it by mail in Illinois. When Fred Childers died, I hoped to purchase that newspaper, but his wife Columbia kept it for a time.
In 1972 the Ely Echo was brought to the local market by Miles Aakhus. By 1974 I was working for him and in 1977 he sold the Echo to me.
In 1909, there were 18 newspapers on the Iron Range. Some are gone, some remain.
In the Biwabik area, two newspapers existed in 1909: Biwabik News and Aurora Times. The remaining newspaper there is the current Range Times.
The front page headline on June 16, 2016 was: Future of East Range’s 109-year-old Range Times in jeopardy due to lack of support. It was written by the owner and publisher Gary Albertson.
Newspapers are judged for profitability by the percentage of ads to news. That edition was about 21% ads, with a third of those for the newspaper’s services - subscriptions, printing, etc. So maybe 14% was paid to be used for printing, mailing and people. For any newspaper to be profitable or at least break even, the percentage needs to be at least 50% paid.
Albertson pointed out that city councils, school boards and townships need reporters to cover them and those reporters need to be paid by a newspaper, as do photographers, printers, other workers and suppliers.
Nationwide the industry reports that community newspapers will survive better than the dailies. I’d like to believe that. A half hour of television or radio news just isn’t enough time to keep me informed.
But the newspaper business isn’t sure fire. Nobody is becoming a millionaire unless they started out as a multi-millionaire. Definitely not me. Maybe not my friend Albertson either.
On June 23 there was another Range Times. Lots of photos and news. Three Aurora stores have closed there, but Gary is still plugging away. I wish him well.
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In the Ely Echo of June 24, 1996, twenty years ago, the headlines were:
• Forest fire north of Ely hits 4,200 acres (White Feather Lake Fire)
• New owners at Northernaire Lodge have Twin Cities, music connections
• Ely-to-Duluth bus service put on hold
• Sheave wheels return to Pioneer Mine
• Wolf Center has $3 million impact on Ely area economy