The nearly 150-year-old official newspaper for the Archdiocese of Detroit will end operations before becoming an online-only publication, officials announced Wednesday.

The Michigan Catholic will end after the Aug. 24 issue. In November, the archdiocese will launch "a comprehensive digital news website and service designed to broaden our reach and to  provide daily, engaging and timely news coverage of our local missionary activities," Archbishop Allen Vigneron said in a statement.

Founded in 1872 as the “Western Home Journal,” the Michigan Catholic is considered the second-oldest newspaper in the state and covers news for the region's 1.3 million Catholics, according to the website. It publishes biweekly and is funded through subscriptions and advertising.

"Unfortunately, the realities facing newspapers have not escaped us," said managing editor Mike Stechschulte in a message to readers. "For the past two decades, circulation has steadily declined as costs have steadily risen. Faced with the prospect of continuing losses, and in light of our mission spelled out in Unleash the Gospel, the decision was made to undertake this transition to continue to serve you to the best of our abilities."

The Michigan Catholic had published weekly until 2010, when the archdiocese eliminated the newspaper's annual subsidy, which ranged from $200,000 to $300,000, officials said at the time.

The paper laid off five of its 10 full-time workers then, a spokesman said. Circulation was about 22,000 in 2010, down from 30,000 in 1999, The Detroit News has reported.


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