Alabama Media Group shifts to all-digital, will stop publishing newspapers in 2023

Alabama Media Group will shift to all-digital delivery, ending publication in 2023 of its four newspapers in Alabama and Mississippi.

The Birmingham News, Huntsville Times and Mobile Press-Register and Mississippi Press will be published through Sunday, February 26, 2023. Subscribers will continue to receive The Lede, a 7-day-a-week e-edition that reports on each city.

With this announcement, Alabama Media Group, already the largest digital news company in Alabama, will focus on growing its local digital media brands including, The Alabama Education Lab, This is Alabama, People of Alabama and the Birmingham, Huntsville and Mobile editions of The Lede.

In addition, the company will continue to grow its digital marketing business, which serves advertising clients throughout the Southeast, its film production group, Advance Originals, and national brands including Reckon and It’s a Southern Thing.

“We remain deeply committed to serving our local communities and are producing high-quality journalism and reaching more people than ever before,” said Tom Bates, president of Alabama Media Group.

“At the same time, we’re adjusting to how Alabama readers want their information today, which increasingly is on a mobile device, not in a printed newspaper.”

Read more: Here’s how our journalism serves Alabama as we shift to all-digital delivery.

The company will keep its offices in each of the metro areas. This decision will result in the closure of a production facility in Mobile, Alabama, and will impact some local employees in production, circulation and advertising.

Bates said that focusing on the digital brands, like, and distribution through social media and other platforms, allows the company to make their reporting more widely available and to tell stories in all formats, including video and audio.

“This decision also allows us to invest in more local coverage, more investigative reporting and more initiatives like our education lab, which aims to improve our state’s K-12 education system,” Bates said.

The company recently hired new local journalists in the state’s three largest metro areas to report exclusively for The Lede and is currently hiring to build an audience team. It also is hiring local investigative reporters and an editor to focus on Alabama cities, one to be based in Birmingham, one in Mobile and one in Huntsville.

Alabama Media Group journalists have earned national recognition for their work and innovation. In the past 5 years, journalists have been awarded two Pulitzer Prizes and been a finalist for another, won 21 regional Emmys for documentary work and won an Edward R. Murrow award for podcasting.

According to ComScore, a service that provides reporting on digital and TV audiences, is regularly in the top 10 of local news websites across the country and reaches an average of 11 million monthly users. Alabama Media Group brands also have more than 3.4 million followers across social media platforms.

“Local news reporting is alive and well in Alabama. Our newsroom is larger today than it was five years ago – and will be larger next year than it is today,” Bates said.

“Our mission is the same, but the business model is changing. Fortunately, as our audience has moved online, so have the majority of our ad clients, which has set us up well for the future.”

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