The Bay City Democrat published its last edition after a 126-year run on Thursday, March 10, 2016. Editor and publisher Wendy Knochel says it was too hard to continue the publication following the death of her mother and co-owner Carol DeVeau in January. Knochel's family had owned the paper since 1980.
Trends of increasing online news and declining print news publication presented challenges for the newspaper. Knochel says that in recent years the paper no longer printed its own editions. It outsourced the printing instead.
"I know being a member of the Michigan Press Association, we're constantly fighting to keep newspapers in circulation. It's an ongoing battle that I support fully. Online is great, but not everybody has access to an iPad or a computer," says Knochel.
The Bay City Democrat had a weekly circulation of about 800 print editions. It was primarily a legal paper, publishing legal notices and other local happenings.