Former employees of the Mail Tribune react to it shutting down

MEDFORD, Ore. – After over 100 years, the Mail Tribune announced it will be shutting down.

In an online statement, the company’s CEO and publisher, Steven Saslow said: 

It is with heavy hearts that we announce that as of Jan. 13, 2023, the Mail Tribune will cease all operations.

This was a difficult business decision; the shuttering of this institution is a real loss for all constituents in Southern Oregon.

Unfortunately, industry-wide reductions, and in some cases complete elimination of national advertising spends for newspapers (digital or printed editions), coupled with rising costs of content and the difficulty of hiring staff and managers have made continuing the Mail Tribune unsustainable.

The last published issue will be Friday, Jan. 13, 2023. Refunds due for unused portions of paid subscriptions will be issued within 60 days. We will be reaching out to our advertisers and vendors within the next couple of weeks.


Steven Saslow

CEO | Publisher

Saslow did not respond to our request for an interview.

But we spoke with a former editor at the Tribune, Bob Hunter, who was there 33 years, about what the shutdown means for the community.

“I‘m sad for the people that work there and sad for the community because they’re losing jobs and the community something that’s going to be hard to replace,” he said. “There will be lots of things that slip through the cracks and that don’t get the attention that they deserve and I think that’s a big loss for the community.”

The final publication of the newspaper will be Friday.

We also learned that employees were just told on Wednesday about the paper shutting down.

Hunter said as advertising became more difficult for the newspaper, resources for local reporters diminished, creating a trickle down affect.

“When there’s less local news in the paper, then there’s fewer people that want to get the paper, then it feeds on itself and continues on,” he said.

It was just months ago, in September, that the Tribune announced it was going to a digital only format, as delivering the paper was no longer profitable.

Just a year earlier, it shut down it’s sister newspaper, the ‘Ashland Daily Tidings.’

A former editor, Cathy Noah, who was at the Tribune for nearly 20 years, said losing the paper will have a major impact.

“I think it’s a huge loss,” she said. “Who’s going to be paying attention to what’s happening in city government and county government. Who’s going to let us know when things happen in our community that impact us.”

Damian Mann, a former long-time reporter and freelancer at the tribune says the writing was on the wall years ago, when the newspaper industry began to struggle in the digital age.

Since the announcement, he said he’s received many messages from people in the community.

“They’re just blown away by it really,” Mann said. “They live with the newspaper in some cases their whole lives and now it’s completely gone.”

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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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