The Aug. 1 edition of the Farmington-Rosemount Independent Town Pages will be its last.
RiverTown Multimedia officials said declining advertising and subscriber support prompted the decision to cease publishing the newspaper and its online counterpart.
Neal Ronquist, publisher of RiverTown Multimedia, said the paper was losing money and that efforts to keep the publication afloat financially were unsuccessful.
The Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages survived the Great Recession, primarily because of a deluge of mortgage foreclosure notices. RiverTown merged the two publications in 2013, hoping to boost circulation and content.
“The harsh reality is local businesses did not support the paper via advertising and the community did not value the content in sufficient enough quantity to ensure a going concern,” Ronquist said.
RiverTown Multimedia News Director Anne Jacobson said Farmington and Rosemount have become a fractured market that is complicated by a growing percentage of commuters in those communities.
“We understand this is a loss for these communities,” Ronquist said. “We appreciate the loyal subscribers and the business partnerships we have had throughout the many years. The decision to cease publication is not one we welcome. We worked hard to avoid this outcome, but ultimately we just didn't have the support.”
Subscribers will receive the remaining balance on their accounts after the Aug. 1 edition. Ronquist said refunds should arrive no later than Sept. 15.
The development means RiverTown Multimedia will stop devoting reporting resources to Farmington and Rosemount; RiverTown will also cease to dedicate news websites to those communities. Ronquist said there may be occasional information about Farmington and Rosemount in the Hastings Star Gazette newspaper or other RiverTown publications, but not from dedicated reportage.
Jacobson said Farmington and Rosemount events that warrant regional attention may be covered.
“The Dakota County Fair comes to mind,” she said, adding that RiverTowns’ biannual Dining & Destinations publication, with its five-county reach, may be a resource for advertisers.
Ronquist said his hope remains that readers will support community journalism, which he said are “vitally important to our way of life."
“If we want to live in healthy communities, then we need to support the work of professional journalists,” he said. “Whether readers consume content via print or digital, it is the work of professional journalists that keep our government officials in check, keep our communities informed and share the milestones of friends and family members.”