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Los Alamos newspaper to call it quits after decades in print

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. – The newspaper that has served the northern New Mexico community of Los Alamos for nearly six decades will publish its last edition on Sunday.

The Los Alamos Monitor announced on its webpage that the decision was shared with staff Friday by officials with Landmark Community Newspapers. The company has owned the paper since 1979.

Landmark President Mike Abernathy said the staff has worked hard to produce a quality newspaper but that their efforts weren’t enough to overcome economic challenges that have worsened in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Officials also pointed to diminishing community support for the newspaper, noting a decision by local government officials to send their legal advertising to a free newspaper competitor.

The Monitor is the only paid circulation newspaper serving Los Alamos County, one of the most affluent counties in the U.S. and home to the once-secret government installation where scientists developed the atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan Project during World War II.

The newspaper’s first edition was published on March 7, 1963, using typewriters and typesetters in rented offices above a jewelry store. The weekly eventually evolved into a daily and moved to another location and was equipped with a press.

As circumstances changed, the publication was reduced to three times a week and then the decision was made to go to twice a week in March.

At its peak, the Monitor employed more than 25. Today, the staff numbers four.

Officials said Monitor staff will continue to print a sister newspaper, The Las Vegas Optic, until a buyer is found for the newspaper building in Los Alamos.

The decision to close the Monitor comes on the heels of the news that community radio station KRSN AM 1490 will sign off for good on the same day.