San Francisco Chronicle axes evening edition

SAN FRANCISCO - The Hearst Corporation has announced it is to close the afternoon edition of the San Francisco Chronicle less than two years after it was launched, after the publisher admitted it was in a "deep financial hole".

Staff at the paper were told by Chronicle publisher John Oppedahl that the "harsh economic reality can not justify the costs" of publication. The last edition will appear on September 27.

"The deep financial hole we're in is something we must face, as we've been saying for some time," he said.

The afternoon edition of the Chronicle was launched on November 22 2000, after Hearst bought the San Francisco Chronicle from the local Fang family, at the same time selling its San Francisco Examiner title to the Fangs.

While the morning circulation of the Chronicle is 525,897 on weekdays and 537,145 on Sundays, the afternoon edition was only selling about 8,000 copies daily.

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