Anchorage Daily News hemorrhaging cash, will reduce print to twice weekly and cut staff

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The Anchorage Daily News held a company wide meeting Tuesday to announce it will be reducing print from 6 days a week to just Sunday and Wednesday, effective June 2. 

The company is said to be expecting at least a 20% loss in circulation from the change in addition to the steady 16-19% loss it currently is experiencing each year. 

A source told Must Read Alaska that the Sunday print run was just 6,400 copies, while in the 1990s, the Sunday edition was over 100,000 copies.

There will be layoffs and further restructuring in the coming months as a result of the changes, MRAK has learned.

The newspaper was purchased by millionaire Alice Rogoff in 2014. She changed the name to the Alaska Dispatch, the name of an upstart online news organization she had purchased from journalists Amanda Coyne and Tony Hopfinger. Rogoff ran the entire enterprise into the red and finally had to liquidate it as a bankruptcy reorganization.

The Binkley Company, headed by former state Sen. John Binkley, purchased the print and online Alaska Dispatch out of bankruptcy in 2017 and returned it to its former name, the Anchorage Daily News. Rogoff had paid over $30 million for the newspaper, while the Binkley Company purchased it from the bankruptcy proceedings for $1 million. Ryan Binkley, son of John Binkley, became president and CEO and Andy Pennington became the publisher.

The pattern is part of the decline of newspapers across the country. The Juneau Empire reduced its print edition to twice weekly a year ago, as did the Peninsula Clarion. Both are now being printed out of state. The ADN contracted its printing out to the Frontiersman when it changed hands to the Binkleys. It was once a daily newspaper, but has recently reduced print editions to five days a week.

Just last month, the ADN was lobbying the Legislature to preserve the paid public notices in order to slow the decline. Senate Bill 68, recognizing that most newspapers have most of their readers online anyway, calls for publishing the notices in the Alaska Online Public Notice System, by mail, and by “other means as deemed necessary.”

The newspaper has always had a liberal bent, but has become hard-left starting with the transfer to Rogoff in 2017.

This story will be updated as more facts emerge.

80 COMMENTS

  1. The problem, in a nutshell, is that left wingers only spend other peoples’ money, and ADN has become such a left-wing rag that the only reason for conservatives and moderates to buy it is for a bird cage liner. And there aren’t that many parrots in Anchorage.

    • That’s what happens when you go woke and print only one side and twist the facts.
      I like others quit the daily rag because of their print trying to show the left is right and so now you are broke.
      Haha

    • Bird cage liner??? Personally, I believe lining the cage with the ADN would be an affront to any bird’s dignity and I try to do better by my bird….

  2. It is truly a shame to have print news run into the ground like it has been over the past couple of decades. It did not have to be that way. All they really needed was editors and publishers that recognized and believed in the truth, sought it faithfully, and presented it as best they could investigatively determine it. People could take it from there and base their judgement on it. Turns out it is not that hard to recognize a pack of lies, and that is what got judged. Nobody wants to pay for that sort of garbage.

  3. I hate to see it, but this was inevitable. A sad mix of not knowing what business they were in and leaning hard into partisan politics.

    ADN, like Empire and so many other papers are convinced they are in the newspaper business. They aren’t. They are in the information business. Newspapers were the means of conveying information to customers.

    ADN, like Empire and so many others made the fatal mistake of leaning too hard into partisan politics instead of reporting the news. Related, most readers are far more interested in what’s happening locally, not DC or Trump.

    When you mix aggressive politics with a failure to actually deliver the product customers want, customers go elsewhere. When customers go, businesses fold.

    • So True! There’s many other News Outlets easily available that offer “Real News” without the predetermined political agenda (that always leans left of center). Next, will be KTUU-KYES (ie: Gry Comms) on the chopping block, as there’s plenty of other options.

  4. But… If the Binkley press fails, who will lie to us?
    No seriously though how can we speed this up?

  5. I emailed them to call them out on something. Never got a response but now I get repeated offers to sign up. Not interested in their tripe

  6. “Dilbert” was literally the only thing worth reading in that rag – and they purged that too.

    I don’t remember even looking at it since they eliminated the Voice of the Times around when President Skidmark was elected in 2008.

  7. Disappointing news! What will we use to line the kennel with now?
    Hopefully another Democrat will purchase the media/propaganda rag and burn up some of their excess wealth before passing it on to another sucker.
    The yellow plastic boxes attached to the mail post certainly do make great waste containers for the little bags of dog feces that pedestrians can use when empty.

    • Andy, those yellow boxes make a great Martin trap box. Just slot out either side of the opening toss some chicken guts in the back, insert your Conibear 120 into those slots and bingo! You either get a Martin or snap some dog poop depositor across the knuckles.

  8. Well duh, only liberals read that paper; they’ve pooped on everybody else with their grotesque liberal slant. Do they think appealing to only one partisan side is a good business model?

  9. Go woke, go broke. When I move here the front page was a photograph of a moment in time . Beautiful. Their incessant left stance has grow so old I barely look at it anymore. Just like O. J. Good riddance.

  10. I recently mentioned to the editor of our daily (less Monday/Sunday) that at one time I had a wood stove and a pet parrot. The required fire starter and cage protection. With the advent of heat pumps and the demise of the parrot, the message to the editor was much as the demise of the Anchorage paper, “Hard Left Bent”.
    Soon, very soon————–XXXX

  11. Rogoff, Binkley, Pennington, Hulen, Peterson are all carpetbaggers.
    The liberal way is the road to hell, and they are proving it once again.
    Too bad for many good and great former employees. Binkley and his management group of desperados look like fools, and it was their hand of their own making that helped them slide down the dumper.

  12. Good riddance to the Anchorage Democratic News, now maybe they’ll stop sending me emails and mailers asking me to subscribe.

  13. I miss the Anchorage Times.

    For $13 a month I get the on-line and 3 ADN papers delivered per week.
    Suzanne has a good operation here, but the ADN has a lot of crime, activity & local sports.
    I won’t need the printed papers as long as I have ink in my printer for the crossword/suduko puzzels.

    I see Rogoff is still hanging around.
    Being an “arctic expert”, she is at the BIG “Arctic muckamuck” conference this week.
    Probably there to report how long it will take her daughter (Alice Jr) to clean out our P. Fund.

    • Yup, the Rogoffs are bad news, especially when they’re dealing with our Permanent Fund investments…

      John Binkley was the first official RINO in State history, masquerade as a Republican Senator from Bethel.

      Good riddance to the lousy bunch of pretenders.

      • Didn’t Binkley run for governor against Frank Murkowski in 2006, because Frank didn’t pick Binkley as his replacement as US Senator?

        Instead, Frank picked the second official RINO in state’s history……..
        his daughter Lisa.

        Weird stuff.

    • It won’t be long if they keep investing in companies circling the drain, like they did when they invested in Peter Pan Seafoods. That is going to be a huge net loss for the Fund.

  14. The muni of Anchorage did away with the plastic shopping bag under the guise of “trash” but allowed this to stay ……..
    I guess sore oh’s is reallocating these funds to pay for the 220 radio stations he’s purchasing.

    • Why did Bill Allen and VECO fail The Anchorage Times? ….with all that oil/gas money to pay for local journalism?

  15. Wonder if you’ll get a refund of hard copy delivery from 6 days to 2 days (Sunday & Wednesday-got to keep that Safeway grocery ad insert going!) a week or they’ll just extend your subscription or offer to discount e-edition online access subscription? Declining ad sections/promotions is a telling sign of a dying breed of news.

    • I’m wondering the same thing. They’ll probably just extend the online access, which means I’ll have it accessible for ages – and I hate reading the paper online! PLUS I cut out comics to send to a group of friends. Kinda hard to cut out a computer screen.

  16. A pity, because I was once a subscriber and avid reader, and because any city of the size and stature of Anchorage should have a thriving and comprehensive local newspaper. But the ADN under Rogoff alienated too many of us paleo-Alaskans with its leftist / progressive slant on the news, and even went so far as to endorse Obama.

    After Rogoff’s debacle, I had hoped that the Binkley Company would restore a balance and an Alaska perspective to the news and opinion pages, but no – much of the Los Anchorage Daily News content in recent years has come straight from the reporting of the Washington Post – an organ of the deep DC-corporatist-progressive state. I will not pay a dime for a ‘woke’ East Coast newspaper, because it pains my tender soul to read even one slanted column.

    So, goodbye to an Anchorage print newspaper… until the time when Must Read Alaska is ready to fill this niche! Suzanne…?

    • “……..any city of the size and stature of Anchorage should have a thriving and comprehensive local newspaper……….”
      ‘Stature’? Now, that right there is hilarious! Thanks for the comedy! Anchorage remains a dirty, far off military outpost with an inflated ego and a serious addiction to government handouts.
      Newsprint is going extinct. Had you been paying attention during the covid circus you may have noticed that the paper pulp product that was in huge demand was toilet paper, not newsprint. Moreover, for the past forty years the ADN has been crying about the environment as if they were somehow innocent in its degredation. Maybe they ought to do everybody a favor, take this downturn as a hint, and fall on their pointy pen with dignity.

  17. Good riddance. The new owners got rid of me quickly. Now that the ADN is on its last gasps, I invite all of the Left-wing lunatics over to my private blog. I need a bit more money to pay my own bills.

  18. Say it isn’t so! This ADN rag can be counted on to give the left’s point of view every time while trashing anything opposing it. There are a whole lot of alternative news sources that actually provides news and not narrative. The slow demise of ADN is a delight to watch. But they don’t get the fact that their readers increasingly distrusting ADN for good reason.

  19. Not sad about this at all. But it does beg a good question, what are we going to line pet cages and train puppies on now. That unfortunately is the only good reason to have it in its current management state.

  20. The behavior of Anchorage’s assembly was fodder for weeks long publication of ADN. Yet the ADN refused to publish items critical of the assembly. And the ADN eliminated replies attached to articles and opinion pieces making counterpoints very difficult. Good bye ADN and hello Must Read Alaska.

  21. I subscribe; I enjoy reading how the left feels about their selected coverage. A boomer likes to have their hands on it rather than reading a monitor or phone.

  22. Why are you wasting time and effort on this nothing burger story? Wouldn’t your efforts better spent investigating and reporting upon Representative Eastmens ammendment to reimburse each Alaskan $17,000, which the State has stolen/ illegally taxed? Did you know they tried to table thus amendment in failure. Now it has to a full vote. Thought you had your fingers on the pulse of Alaska.

  23. What a way to run a business.
    Reduce the amount of product you deliver, and charge more for it. Only a leftist would think that would get more customers.
    .
    Oh, and everything they print is basically right off the AP wire without any editorial changes.

  24. Newspapers survive on ad revenue. The cost of advertising is based on the number of readers. When you subtract out the relatives of staffers, the copies going to libraries, and the small market of frothing-at-the-mouth loonies, that doesn’t equate to enough market coverage to keep the lights on.

  25. The Binkleys had a chance to save it, but chose to continue with the hard Left extremist employees who continued to show their hatred of Alaska and our Republican politicians, while working day and night to help elect fellow Communists.

    “Everything woke turns to sh*t” proved itself once again.

    I would like to have a daily print newspaper, but cut them out of life years ago, and will not shed a tear when they close up shop for good and hit the southbound AlCan….

  26. It isn’t a “nothing burger”. As someone who has lived in Anchorage for most of my 63 year Alaskan born existence, it’s like reading the obituary of an old family friend whose betrayal, after decades, ran so deep. What a waste of potential local talent and commercial success.

    • ADN… meh. The Times was a much better paper, and at one point even kept the News going. But when the News got back on its fee and the Times was struggling, the News didn’t really return the favor.

      • The Times, sour grapes. The publication went out of business when readership, advertising revenues and subscriptions were up. Publish stories with well researched facts and evidence, that resonate with the readers – NOT judgements and middle-school name calling.

  27. Many of us had high hopes with the Binkley’s took over. But Ryan is much more left than his father.
    Several of us met with Ryan Binkley to
    Discuss the concerns we had and our hope it would be impartial.
    When serving as Director of Public Libraries for two years, I was often the target for biased reports and when called recently by one of their reporters, I told him I didn’t give interviews to ADN because of their dishonesty!

    • God Bless you for taking their non-stop abuse. They DO NOT report the news, they fake it and make it. They support a very liberal assembly in their plundering of voter rights and finances.

      I am happy they are failing, I hope it bankrupt’s the Binkley’s for the damage they caused you and many of the Mayor’s hard working and honest workers.

      They have zero idea of what a good newspaper looks like !!!!!!!!!

  28. Nothing better than a nice tall dose of schadenfreude to start the day!

    RIP Howard Weaver. You, sir, were a Great Alaskan journalist. How many Pulitzers did you and the ADN have again? I forget. MRAK, perhaps your fact check department could provide us with that information.

  29. And I just got a letter from them raising my subscription another $10. I guess I’m sort of weird because I enjoy the various columns like Lynn Curry, Wayne & Wanda, Miss Manners, etc. I love the comics, the Sudoku and Crypto quotes. I haven’t relied on the ADN for political news or current events for years. I have no puppies or parrots so I haven’t needed it for that either. Sitting down with a hard copy paper is a very hard habit to give up.

  30. Congrats to MRAK for the scoop, of the ADN forthcoming changes. Hope you are getting plenty of $100 donations, to allow this rag to exist. Multiple voices in journalism are needed and valued by everyone who cares. Prada translates as Truth – but all good readers know mistakes are made, and often intentionally.

  31. They were doomed when they stopped printing any letters to the editor that supported anything that even had a hint of conservatism. They did this to themselves and will not be missed. Take heed KTUU.

  32. I moved to Alaska 6 years ago and immediately bought a subscription to the ADN. I canceled 90 days later. I admit that they got paid 89 days more than they should have.

  33. MRAK subscriptions should be going through the roof now that ADN is on the blink. Specials for looney tune, lefties? MRAK gets 6000 views on an average day, far out pacing the ADN on their best day.

    • Legacy, Echovita, Everloved naming a few obituary websites which have been publishing over 20+ years.

  34. People who think ADN is in trouble because of its political orientation are mistaken.

    If that were the case, it would have been the Anchorage Daily News that lost the newspaper war, and the much more conservative Anchorage Times would still be with us today.

    Instead, the Daily News, like so many other newspapers of every political stripe across the country, is the victim of a technological disruption that has destroyed the business models for printed news and advertising.

    That disruptor is, of course, the Internet. What a lot of people may not know is that it actually began with Craigslist with its free online classifieds. You can’t beat free, so the classified advertising portion of the newspaper business model evaporated pretty quickly.

    After that, it was downhill all the way, with the Internet also stealing conventional commercial advertising and making non-local news non-viable in a local print newspaper because it’s available much sooner on the Internet. Who wants to read tomorrow that Trump met with House Speaker Mike Johnson at Mara Lago today, when it will have been all over the Internet, cable news, and broadcast news starting ten microseconds after it happened? Nobody, that’s who.

    If ADN does go to two print editions a week, I can’t see how it’s long before it’s online only. And online local news is a tough business to be in. There may not be the huge delivery expense and huge plant cost of the production equipment and printing presses required to bring out a print paper, but newsgathering is ferociously labor-intensive and that cost does not go away with the printing press and delivery vans. It’s hard to think of more than a few examples of general-interest online news sites that make money by delivering the kind of detailed, hyperlocal news that was the bread and butter of local newspaper journalism.

    We as a society lose a lot when we lose talented professionals who at least try to get the news right and tell it straight. Professional news, reasonably well done, establishes a baseline set of commonly accepted facts that we can all refer to when we argue about who should be elected mayor, governor, to the assembly, or to the legislature.

    Without that, we drown in a cacophony of shouted opinion generally asserted without evidence, fact or data. The repeatedly investigated and debunked claim of a stolen election in 2020 is surely the most prominent example of nonsense parading as “fact” in the opinion swamps of the Internet.

    Without supporting facts, all opinions are equally useless, and not worth a thinking person’s time or consideration.

    As to the Daily News’s alleged “hard right” political orientation, it seems to me to be more fairly characterized as slightly, mushily, liberal, maybe. ADN President Ryan Binkley is a Republican, for pete’s sake!

    • “Without supporting facts, all opinions are equally useless, and not worth a thinking person’s time or consideration”.
      Well, there’s Ashley’s diary and Hunter’s laptop.

    • Did they tell the truth about covid, Trump, the FBI, CDC corruption, FDA corruption, biden, inflation or anything else that really matters??? Nope. Is it exposing judicial corruption in Alaska? Fisheries corruption where commercial fisherman get 98% of our fish in violation of the state’s constitution? Nope nope nope. If they would tell the truth, I would be happy to get a paper every day again.

    • Well said Stan Jones. Hope the print ADN hangs on and does not go to online only – that would be its death knell.

    • That is quite the load of rationalizations with little to support it. Blaming it one the internet is classically bad.

      Had they actually done straight news, they probably would not have driven away paying customers. The lack of paying customers directly affects the advertising budget. Many businesses survived the transition to the web by adapting how they marketed, not changing what they were selling.

      The collapse of news in this country is nothing more or less than people who chose a side, pushed it, did their jobs poorly, and are desperately looking for scapegoats to blame.

      • “……If ADN does go to two print editions a week, I can’t see how it’s long before it’s online only……….”
        There’s your test. My bet is they can’t get that done correctly either, because (obviously) they haven’t yet, even though the writing has been on their foreheads for the past 20 years or better.
        Regarding the “professionals” there, it’s my opinion that the internet (with its wide open access) exposes ideological propaganda and stories that ideologues try to hide, so your lofty ADN “journalists” are, IMHO, going as extinct as dodo birds, and for the same reasons.

  35. “Without that, we drown in a cacophony of shouted opinion generally asserted without evidence, fact or data. The repeatedly investigated and debunked claim of a stolen election in 2020 is surely the most prominent example of nonsense parading as “fact” in the opinion swamps of the Internet.”

    So, tell me you got all your COVID booster shots without telling me you got all your COVID booster shots…

  36. No great loss when you only print one side of the story you are no longer a newspaper, the people who lose will be the workers who print, distribute, and deliver the papers. I do believe a honest newspaper could survive in Alaska. I used to love the Sunday newspaper it would be on my table for days but the Daily News was not worth the money. In short order two days per week will be no days per week shame on you Binkley

  37. Couldn’t the Binkleys just sell all of the old dinosaur presses to the State of Alaska and make print travel brochures which feature trips on their riverboat and goldmine tours? Corporate welfare is always the best answer.

    • Funny you mention that idea. Ryan was just down Juneau BEGGING them to keep legal notices in print.
      He did not get his wish…weeks later, poof….reduced run days. This paper is a WASTE of natural resources.

      • Think the State of Alaska legislature and others, may regret not keeping legal notices in print. The Courts should require.

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