Another Louisville print publication is closing.
The Highlander, a free monthly paper available in neighborhoods in and around its namesake, will cease publication this week.
In a letter, editor and publisher Mary Jean Kirtley writes “we can no longer continue due to a lack of ad revenue and other resources. The January issue (now out) is our last.”
“It’s taken its toll over time. The last year has just not been a good year for us. The year previous, was our best year ever. We were hopeful it would continue, but it just didn’t pan out,” said Kirtley in an interview with WFPL.
Kirtley, a graphic designer by trade, did the bulk of the work on the Highlander, which she founded after working on the Bonnycastle neighborhood newsletter. Each issue was made up of several feature stories and columns focusing on Louisville in general, but with a focus toward the areas just east of downtown. Over its eight years of operations, the paper expanded its distribution to nearly 200 grocery stores, coffee shops and restaurants in areas from Hikes Point to Iroquois Park. But despite the growth, Kirtley says it was never exceedingly profitable to put out.
“It’s not cheap to print a publication,” she says. “I’d say at best we probably broke even. I think it could’ve been profitable if we’d had some money behind it.”
In closing, The Highlander follows another free monthly feature publication, The Paper, which stopped printing last August.
Kirtley has also announced that a book, “The Best of the Highlander” will be put together and published next month.
(Note: I contributed a piece to the Highlander in 2009.)