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December 16, 2015

Trib Total Media announced today that it will close The Daily News in McKeesport and The Valley Independent in Monessen on December 31. The company disclosed its intention to sell several newspapers in August as part of a strategic growth plan.

"We have been in talks with interested buyers for these papers since August but nothing ever came to fruition," said Jennifer Bertetto, president and CEO of Trib Total Media. "Unfortunately, we had to make the difficult decision to close these papers in order to improve the financial health of the company."

The two newspaper closures will result in 87 layoffs: 51 from The Daily News and 36 from The Valley Independent.

The Valley Independent began publishing in 1902. Trib Total Media acquired the paper in 1997 along with three of the region’s other daily newspapers - Valley News Dispatch, Leader Times, and Daily Courier.

The Daily News opened in 1884. Trib Total Media purchased the newspaper in 2007 along with The Laurel Group, a group of six weekly newspapers in Westmoreland and Fayette counties.

Trib Total Media recently sold the Leader Times in Kittanning, The Daily Courier in Connellsville, The Laurel Group papers and The Dispatch in Blairsville to West Penn Media, Inc an affiliate of Sample Media Group.

Trib Total Media's Board of Directors has been engaged in a strategic review of operations in order to best meet the changing needs of its readers, subscribers, advertisers, partners and employees. As a result, the board has decided to publish three regional editions of its flagship newspaper -Tribune-Review Westmoreland edition; Tribune-Review Pittsburgh edition and Tribune-Review Valley News Dispatch edition. The company also is moving to sharpen its focus on digital products. Those changes will begin January 1.