I should have seen it coming, but I didn't.
I never expected the Ann Arbor News to close. It has always been an excellent newspaper. The Booth chain for years covered the Michigan Capitol better than any other news organization in Michigan.
But on the other hand, Ann Arbor really is the ideal community to have a post-paper newspaper -- a totally on-line newspaper.
After all, it is probably the most literate, wired community in the state. Readers there are likely to be highly receptive to a strictly on-line newspaper that combines a nose for news, savvy reporters, good writing, and a community spirit with new technology that allows them to add video, more photos, links to entire reports and documents, interactivity, and all that the web has to offer.
But I am puzzled as to why the owners are framing this change as the demise of the Ann Arbor News rather than a conversion to a new format.
(It sort of is in keeping with their past use of mlive.com instead of a more user friendly name for their web-based product. Why newspapers insist on a different name for their own-line version, making it hard to people to find, has always been a puzzle to me. What was wrong with annarbornews.com? Or livingstonpress-argus.com, for that matter?)
Apparently, they want a total break with the past. But as we move into this brave new world, it would be nice to hang onto a little bit of the familiar.