COVINGTON – Tammany West, the weekly newspaper that publishes on Thursday in western St. Tammany Parish, will print its last edition on Thursday, January 25.
The newspaper was started in March, 2013 to bring a purely local newspaper back to the west side of St. Tammany Parish. A former western parish publication, the News-Banner, had published in the area for decades, but was changed to a parishwide publication known as the St. Tammany News following Hurricane Katrina.
Tammany West Publisher Kevin Chiri said the lack of sales staff working the west side of the parish directly led to the inability of the paper to succeed.
“The disappointing thing about ending Tammany West is that the public has shown great support and interest in having their own local paper on the west side again,” he said. “But we are a small company and have been unable to hire advertising sales help, almost since we began five years ago.
“More than anything, I want to thank the businesses that did support the newspaper,” he added.
Chiri is owner and publisher of The Slidell Independent that covers the east side of the parish, and started Tammany West, along with a partner, after the St. Tammany News closed down in February, 2013.
“The Slidell Independent is a very successful paper since myself and my small staff have been able to put our main attentions there,” he said. “We hoped to do the same with Tammany West, but were not able to hire the sales help to do so.”
Chiri said that the positive thing about re-starting The Slidell Independent in 2009, then starting Tammany West in 2013, is that it proved how much the public wants a local newspaper.
“The biggest challenge I have faced in Slidell and then on the west is the national media making it sound like no one reads newspapers anymore,” he said. “With the success we are having with Slidell, and the way the public responded to Tammany West, it is clear that people may use the Internet, but they love having a local paper as well.”
“I believe there is a long future ahead for community newspapers and I’m sorry we were not able to find the staff to make Tammany West work,” he added.
Any questions or comments may be directed to Chiri by e-mail at email@example.com.