Paper stack

BOUNTIFUL — After 129 years of publication, the Davis Clipper is shutting down.

The publisher of the Bountiful-based weekly newspaper, Gail Stahle, told staff members last week that the Dec. 4 issue will be its last.

The Clipper issued a press release Monday publicly announcing the move.

“My family has loved publishing the Clipper since 1891,” Stahle said in a statement.

“Each generation has cherished the opportunity and understood the value of a community newspaper. But as with almost all newspapers, advertising revenues and subscriptions have been continuously falling over the past decade, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exasperated the challenge. The operating model for the Clipper is just no longer viable.”

The newspaper, which lists a circulation area of south Davis County, is distributed to approximately 13,000 households, according to its website. Thirteen employees are listed on the Clipper’s staff directory.

According to the press release, Stahle is the third generation of Clipper publishers.

His grandfather, John Stahle Sr., partnered with local businessman Lamoni Call to start “Little Clipper” in 1891, but the name changed to “Davis County Clipper” in 1892.

John Stahle Jr. took over as publisher in 1954 and Gail Stahle became publisher in 1989.

“I grew up in Bountiful, grew up basically at the Clipper and it is heartbreaking to have to cease publication,” Gail Stahle said in a statement.

“I know the importance of getting community news out to residents, and I’m very thankful for the large number of editors, writers, typesetters, production people and printers who’ve served as part of our Clipper family for multiple generations. I wish them all well as they pursue their future careers.”

The press release stated the Clipper has won numerous awards over the years both from the Utah Press Association and the Society of Professional Journalists.

The closure is the latest in a grim trend for newspapers, which have only seen more bad news during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last month, the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune announced an end to their joint-operating agreement, which resulted in severance packages for 161 employees of Utah Media Group and another 18 severance packages to employees at the Deseret News who were laid off.

Contact reporter Patrick Carr via email at pcarr@standard.net and follow him on Twitter @patrickcarr_.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!