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Christian Science Monitor to abandon its print edition

Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, the Christian Science Monitor announced Tuesday that it will abandon its weekday print edition and appear only online, reported the New York Times.

The Monitor would be the first national newspaper to largely give up on print, reported the New York Times.

According to BusinessWeek, the newspaper will cease daily publication next April, and will shift to a weekly print format while increasing its emphasis on its Web site.

The Monitor, whose circulation has slipped to 52,000 from 220,000 in 1970, is hoping to create a cost-efficient newsroom, casting aside paper and starting fresh on the Web, reported the New York Times.

The Monitor is currently posting net losses of $18.9 million a year and $12.5 million in revenue, reported BusinessWeek. They hope cutting print frequency will slice those losses to $10.5 million within five years.

However, BusinessWeek reported that the change would result in layoffs, especially because the Monitor employs 130 staffers, 100 of whom work on the editorial side.

Mr. Yemma, as the New York Times reported, is planning some layoffs on both the editorial and business side of the paper, though is not sure how many staffers will be laid off.

The Monitor has a great deal of catching up to do, however, reported BusinessWeek. In September, the Monitor’s Web site attracted 703,000 unique U.S. visitors, trailing the BBC and The Guardian daily, which netted 6.6 million and 2.5 million unique U.S. readers, respectively.

The New York Times reported that Lou Ureneck, the chairman of the journalism department at Boston University, said it was difficult to “interpret what the move meant for other newspapers. However, Ureneck did agree that news organizations are going to have to be smaller.

“[E]veryone, sooner or later, is going to have to make the transition, and that’s recognized,? said John Yemma, The Monitor’s editor, reported the New York Times.