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Laconia Citizen announces it will close Sept. 30

Union Leader Correspondent

September 16. 2016 8:10AM

LACONIA — Citing growing financial pressure on the newspaper industry, “particularly in smaller markets being served by multiple publications,” The Citizen newspaper has announced that it will cease publication Sept. 30.

In Friday’s edition, George Sample, CEO of Sample News Group of Huntingdon, Pa., which bought The Citizen in 2010 from Foster’s Daily Democrat, said “We have tried for several months to sell the paper, but unfortunately we were unable to find a buyer. We have enjoyed our six years serving the Lakes Region, and we're proud of the efforts our team has made in producing a very good hometown newspaper.”

While The Citizen became a primary source for online news in the Lakes Region, Sample acknowledged that “…the advertising needed to sustain that effort, and the high cost of printing and distributing the newspaper simply hasn't followed.”

“We will focus our energy on our other New Hampshire newspapers which include The Eagle Times of Claremont, The Argus-Champion, Weekly Flea and Message For the Week — all part of Eagle Printing and Publishing Co.,” said Sample.

Sample said the company will “assist employees in their career transitions.” Weekly distribution of preprinted major retailer coupons will continue by mail.

Sample said additional details will be forthcoming in the newspaper's farewell issue.

Launched in 1926 as the Laconia Evening Citizen by former Laconia Mayor Edward J. Gallagher, the newspaper was later owned and operated by his daughter, Alma Gallagher Smith, and her husband, Lawrence J. Smith.

In 1991, the Smiths sold the newspaper to the Geo. J. Foster Company of Dover.

Under Foster’s, The Citizen became a seven-day-a week newspaper, but later reduced publication to six days a week.

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