By Associated Press - Saturday, April 4, 2020

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota’s two largest newspapers are taking steps to trim costs amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Bismarck Tribune, along with all other newspapers owned by Lee Enterprises Inc., announced Saturday it will furlough employees or cut pay in response to a drop in advertising revenue. Some Tribune employee furloughs will start next week.

Kevin Mowbray, president and CEO of Davenport, Iowa-based Lee Enterprises, said Lee executives will take a 20% pay cut. Mowbray said while digital subscriptions have seen an “uptick,” the advertising dollars are down substantially.

The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead announced Friday it would cease print delivery on Mondays and Fridays to cut expenses.

Bill Marcil Jr., publisher of The Forum and CEO of Forum Communications Co., said in a letter to readers the step was in response to losses prompted by the pandemic. The newspaper will continue to produce a daily e-edition.

The move, which takes effect next week, makes the Tribune the only newspaper that prints seven days a week in North Dakota.

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