The Missoula Independent has been shut down by its parent company, Lee Enterprises, just one week after its labor union made a counter-offer to keep the paper alive without laying off two-thirds of the staff:
The Indy was acquired by the newspaper conglomerate, which owns five other Montana papers including the Missoulian, in April 2017.
Staff woke up to a voicemail and a letter emailed to them early this morning informing them to “not report to work or come into the building.” They are still company employees until the end of the fiscal month, October 10.
The Indy’s staff unionized in April, and were in the midst of collective bargaining with Lee Enterprises when they received the notice this morning.
The Independent‘s website now redirects to to the daily Missoulian and its archives are no longer publicly accessible.
“There’s twenty seven years of rich, important reporting on the community that disappeared this morning,” said staff writer Derek Brouwer.