Three ND papers closing doors

While many stores opened their doors early for Black Friday, three institutions closed their doors.

Three rural North Dakota newspapers published the final editions of their papers Friday.

This week brought the announcement our industry dreads hearing. More local papers are shutting down. And for those communities, a local connection with the news is withering away.

The papers shutting down include the Adams County Record, the Dunn County Herald and The Herald in New England. All three papers are owned by Country Media, who wrote in all three papers that they’ve been seeing their numbers eroding.

Steve Hungerford, the company's president, says, "newspapers today – both big and small – are in sharp decline because of competition from social and online media."

Government bodies have to publish meeting notices and agendas in their designated newspapers. Meaning these three communities are looking for a new platform for public notices.

"We've got things that we have to advertise, you know? So, if we have bids or whatnot and we usually did that in our local paper. So yeah, it's gonna be a heavy impact, I think," said Dustin Laufer, Adams County commissioner.

This isn't a new battle for print journalism. In the last 15 years, more than 1,400 American communities have lost their local, according to the Associated Press with the University of North Carolina.

"When you've got a paper that says 'Adams County Record' running right across the top, when you have county news, you kinda tend to go there, I guess, first,” Laufer said

Country Media said they will be refunding pre-paid subscribers for December.

Speaking with county commissioners, they said they were caught off guard by the announcement. Adding that they didn't know about it until the day before the final publication.