Alaska Dispatch News still owes millions in rent

After being faced with massive losses and failing to pay rent on time, the largest newspaper in Anchorage filed for bankruptcy. The Alaska Dispatch News has been in operation since 1946. The paper’s name was changed from Anchorage Daily News to the Alaska Dispatch News. The decision to file for bankruptcy came after telecommunications company GCI filed a lawsuit for back rent that is owed.

Newspapers have faced a decline in revenue among its subscribers due to the technology boom, causing many of them to transfer their print version to a digital version. The latest newspaper to close was the Tampa Tribune. ADN owner Alice Rogoff released a statement explaining her decision to file for bankruptcy

“We’ve worked hard to help illuminate the issues of our day and provide a platform for points of view from across Alaska,” Rogoff said. “Yet like newspapers everywhere, the struggle to make ends meet financially eventually caught up with us. I simply ran out of my ability to subsidize this great news product. Financial realities can’t be wished away.”

After filing bankruptcy several groups have popped up and shared their interest in purchasing the flailing newspaper including Media LLC, which already runs three Alaska newspapers and a company run by Binkley family members: Ryan Binkley, Wade Binkley, James Binkley and Kai Binkley Sims. The Binkley group wants to work with Alaska Media to purchase the paper but has not mentioned their source of funding.

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While groups are working to keep the newspaper alive, we must be realistic and acknowledge many turning to the internet for their news instead of grabbing the morning paper. One possible reason for the failing newspaper industry is newspapers were built to make money. Listverse came up with 10 reasons the newspaper could be dying, they say their target demographic of “old people” no longer works like it did in the past and now must turn their attention to young people including millennials. Revenue that newspapers expected to come from advertising has decreased by 10 percent, according to Pew Research Center.

The Binkley’s announced their would be a restructuring of the employees but have not officially said who they would keep and who they would get rid. Alaskans are demanding someone keeps the paper alive because they believe they need a healthy paper as much as they need utilities or infrastructure. Rogoff originally owned the Alaska Dispatch who ended up buying the Anchorage Daily News in 2014. The company will now face an eviction hearing on Aug. 21.