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Thu, Feb 21, 2002 - Page 2 News List

`Power News' announces it's shutting down today

STAFF WRITER , WITH AP

After two and a half years in circulation, the evening newspaper Power News (勁晚報) made a surprise announcement yesterday that the paper was shutting down and would stop publishing today.

Power News is Taiwan's second evening newspaper to fold in the last six months.

The announcement was made in a front-page message that appeared in yesterday's issue of the paper.

"Advertising revenue could not keep up with the cost of producing high-quality news and content,'' it said.

The paper said it will give severance pay to its staff in accordance with the Labor Standards Law (勞基法) and refund subscribers within ten days.

The newspaper's staff said they will not rule out staging protests if the paper fails to give them proper severance pay.

Other papers that closed in recent months include Taiwan's oldest afternoon newspaper, the Independence Evening Post (自立晚報), and Taiwan's only sports paper, The Great Sports Daily (大成體育報).

Power News was launched in July 1999 by the Hsiang Shan group (象山集團), which also owns the cable TV station Power TV and the radio station Power 98.9.

The company said the paper's closure would not affect operations at the TV and radio stations.

Over the past two and a half years, the paper has tried to attract readers with colorful pages and punchy writing. It also lowered its price from NT$15 to NT$10, and later lowered it again to NT$5 per copy.

The Hsiang Shan group has reportedly lost up to NT$1 billion through its media businesses. It also suffered a major blow in September when floods brought by Typhoon Nari destroyed some of the group's media hardware facilities in Taipei City.

The Hsiang Shan group was established by Chiang Tao-sheng (江道生), who rose to fame and wealth with a successful kindergarten chain that now has 22 branches in Taipei City and County.

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