by Kevin Allman
John Mathew, president and CEO of Wick Communications, said the newspaper has long been in direct competition with many publications, and because St. Tammany Parish is so connected to metropolitan New Orleans and so many of its residents have moved to the Northshore in recent years, the newspaper has had a tough time finding the sense of community that a community newspaper needs to be successful.
Twenty-four positions will be lost as a result of the newspaper’s closing, though several employees will be offered positions at other locations within the company. Employees will receive severance and assistance in resuming their careers elsewhere, Mathew said.
Both The News Banner and the Slidell Sentry News began publishing in the 1970s as suburban growth created a new demand for newspapers in St. Tammany Parish. Wick Communications owns several other community papers, including L’Observateur in LaPlace and The Daily News in Bogalusa.