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The Washington Examiner to end daily print publication

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Local,DC,Maryland,Virginia,Matt Connolly

The Washington Examiner will cease daily print publication on June 14 as owner Clarity Media Group ends local coverage to focus on national politics, the company announced Tuesday.

The shuttering of the local, sports and entertainment sections means a loss of 87 editorial and operations staffers. The new Examiner product, set to launch June 17, will feature Web-only reporting and political commentary as well as a weekly print magazine that will debut June 20.

"We are very grateful to all those who have supported and appreciated our efforts over the past seven years," Clarity President Ryan McKibben said in a statement. "We have enjoyed serving the Washington community and our pride in having done so will always be an important part of our heritage at The Washington Examiner."

The Examiner is known for its enterprising local reporting, and the paper's staff broke important stories on issues like corruption on the Dulles Rail board, government waste and abuse in Montgomery County, and safety and management problems inside Metro. Tips from readers of the paper's "Most Wanted" feature helped U.S. marshals nab 51 fugitives.

"We take pride in being the area's watchdog newspaper," Examiner Editor Stephen G. Smith said. "We care about the little guy, but we care every bit as much about ordinary citizens whose tax dollars are being misused by government."

Smith will stay on as editor, along with executive editor Mark Tapscott and managing editor of digital Jennifer Peebles, the company said. Clarity also hired Lou Ann Sabatier to head of its Washington Group, which includes The Examiner, The Weekly Standard and Red Alert Politics.

Twenty positions will be created for the new digital and weekly print publication, the company said. While the former is targeted for a wide online audience, the latter will circulated among 45,000 "government, public affairs, advocacy, academia and political professionals" in the District and around the country, according to Clarity Media.

"We have accomplished a great deal over the past seven years, as we built The Washington Examiner into a credible and respected brand in a very competitive market," McKibben said. "The strong foundation we established with the website and daily newspaper presents us with the opportunity to shift our focus and meet a pressing need in the political content marketplace."

mconnolly@washingtonexaminer.com

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