Ogden Newspapers-owned Shawnee Dispatch ceases publication after 16 years

The front page of the final edition of the Shawnee Dispatch, which is closing after 16 years of operations.

The publisher of the Shawnee Dispatch announced today that the newspaper was ceasing operations.

Launched in 2002 by the Lawrence, Kan.,-based World Company, the Dispatch was once distributed free-of-charge to 23,000 households throughout the city. Though the Dispatch weathered a wave of cuts to the World Company’s eastern Kansas publications lineup over the past decade, declining advertising revenues led to its eventual demise. The World Company sold the Dispatch as well as the Lawrence Journal-World and Tonganoxie Mirror to West Virginia-based Ogden Newspapers in 2016. In an article published in today’s paper, publisher Scott Stanford said closing the Dispatch would allow the company to focus on the Lawrence and Tonganoxie publications.

With the closure of the Johnson County Sun in 2011, the Dispatch was the last major print newspaper product based in Johnson County.