The Hartford Courant will indefinitely close its physical offices — including its newsroom — later this month. That’s according to its owner, Chicago-based Tribune Publishing.
The Courant is believed to be America’s oldest continuously-operated newspaper, founded in 1764. Employees have been working remotely since the pandemic began.
Emily Brindley is a reporter and a mobilizer for the Courant Guild.
“The newsroom is really the heart of the newspaper, and to know that we don’t have a place to go back to after the pandemic is over is really tough," Brindley said. "It feels like we’ve lost our anchor, we’ve lost the light at the end of the tunnel.”
The Courant’s publisher said it’s a real estate decision that won’t change the essence of how the paper operates. Brindley said the move follows staff cuts, buyouts — and the closing of the paper’s printing plant in October.
“We as the guild feel that this is part of a pattern of cutting into our newsroom and taking away the resources that we need to cover our communities appropriately. I think that we wouldn’t be seeing that pattern if we had an owner who truly cared about the newspaper and about the communities that we serve,” Brindley said.
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut called the move a gut punch and said the reaction should be community outrage — or a new owner. Brindley said the guild is looking for one — and she said a local owner would be ideal.