Changes are coming for the 260-year-old Newport Mercury.
Newport Mercury announced in an email to advertisers this morning and in their publication later today that after publishing as an alternative weekly newspaper since 2005 and as a publication since 1758, that they would cease publication as a weekly paper and would be instead moving forward as a monthly insert in the Newport Daily News.
The Newport Mercury, The Newport Daily News, Newport Life Magazine and other Edward A. Sherman Publishing publications were purchased by Gatehouse Media in October 2017. Gatehouse Media, headquartered in New York, owns 125 daily newspapers and 314 weekly newspapers across the United States, including The Providence Journal and Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly in Rhode Island. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on September 27, 2013, before reemerging from the preplanned bankruptcy in November 2013. In the restructured plan Gatehouse stock was canceled and a new holding company for the parent — New Media Investment Group, Inc. was formed.
The new publishing schedule for the Newport Mercury is just the most recent change to the local newspapers as Gatehouse Media does what it can to turn the biggest profit on its recently acquired properties. Formatting changes have come this week for the print edition of Newport DailNews and the website for the paper is expected to have a new look beginning Thursday.
The Newport Mercury traces a lineage as one of the oldest newspapers in the country. The history of that publication dates back to 1758, when the widow and son of James Franklin, Benjamin Franklin’s brother, established the Newport Mercury as a weekly publication, making Ann Franklin the first woman in the Colonies to publish and edit a newspaper. The Mercury was acquired by Sherman Publishing in 1928. It continued as a subscription weekly published by the Newport Daily News until March 2005, when it was relaunched as a free alternative newsweekly.