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Buffalo Current newspaper shuts down

Six months after it started publication, the Buffalo Current weekly newspaper has shut down.

The paper, which distributed 75,000 free copies across Western New York and Southern Ontario each week, many from distinctive purple boxes, didn't bring in sufficient advertising revenue to survive, said Wayne Lowman, group publisher for Greater Niagara Newspapers (GNN), which published Buffalo Current.

Nine full-time employees are affected by the shutdown.

One, Tim Schmitt, has been named group sports editor for GNN, Lowman said, which also publishes the Niagara Gazette, the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, the Tonawanda News and the Journal-Register in Medina. The other Buffalo Current employees will be offered jobs within the chain if they become available.

Another GNN paper, the Amherst Record, is shutting down its print version but will continue to produce an electronic version, Lowman said.

Buffalo Current put out its first issue Sept. 27. The venture was an attempt to reach readers between the ages of 18 and 35, and to compete with Artvoice, the Niagara Falls Reporter and other alternative newspapers. Greater Niagara Newspapers, a subsidiary of Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., set a goal of distributing 100,000 copies of Buffalo Current each week through a network of 750 distribution points from Ellicottville to Niagara Falls and Batavia.

Entirely reliant on advertising revenue to make money, Buffalo Current never sold enough ads to be successful. Its last issue was dated March 7.

e-mail: swatson@buffnews.com

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