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San Juan Star stops the presses

August 31, 2008 |  1:03 pm

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