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San Juan Star stops the presses

It's no news that many newspapers across the United States, are struggling, even in places where they once held a virtual monopoly over the local English-language print media. The latest casualty is the San Juan Star, Puerto Rico's English-language newspaper, which closed last week. The Pulitizer Prize-winning paper's owner blamed the Star's union leaders "for not agreeing to benefit cuts and layoffs to offset declining revenue," charges that the union disputes, the Associated Press reports.

"The Star, a daily that has operated for nearly 50 years in the U.S. island territory, published its last edition Friday, publisher Gerry Angulo said.

"The newspaper, which once employed Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Kennedy as its managing editor, had 120 employees, about 90 of them union members, including reporters and photographers.

"Angulo said the Star has been losing money for years, but the situation worsened with a recession in Puerto Rico and the broader decline in newspaper readership and advertising.

"Union leaders and the paper have been in talks on a proposal to reduce medical and pension benefits for the unionized workers. The paper did not publish three days last week because the employees were on strike."

-- Reed Johnson in Mexico City

Comments () | Archives (6)

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I learned English as a kid by reading The San Juan Star. My father bought me a subcription. But since, the hypocrites in government, who send their children to the best English speaking private schools and colleges, made Spanish the official language of the island, we have seen not only a decline in the teaching of the international language of science and commerce, but also the narrowing of the mind and the insulation of Puerto Rican knowledge about politics in the U.S.

The dark ages have returned.

I too was a Star paper boy in Rio Piedras (El Paraiso, Rio Piedras Heights and then Bucare). Alan, I wish I had thought of that El Comandante scam! I guess we were an enterprising bunch.

The Star was a very good paper. It's a sad loss. We recently lost our Albuquerque Tribune, a very good afternoon paper.

The schools need to get back to really teaching reading, and as Obama recommends, parents need to pull their kids away from the TV.

More than the end of an era I fear the end of my island.
Like many things coming to an end in Puerto rico this one hits very close... I will remember the many interviews witnessed, to my father (Ruben Gomez world Series winner 1954 Giants), Tito the Star Sports writer waiting around the dug-out or coming for coffe at Las Nereidas cafe in Condado - beating us to our favorite corner. I guess this should not surprise us, our island is currently in political and social chaos.

I'll leave it at that!! about the end of an era! I was one of the Star's first paper boys and have nothing but fond memories of it! I remember selling Saturday's unsold papers (before they published a real Sunday paper) on SUNDAY at El Comamdante for the scratch sheet....and selling out every time!

I always looked forward to my daily reading of the Star when visiting the Island.......I will certainly miss the Star...


Alan Chalfin

There was another Star columnist who won a pulitzer: in the 1960s, Bill (?) Maldonado.


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