The Hartford Courant, the United States’ longest continually published newspaper, will close its newsroom in the Connecticut capital by the end of the year.

The newspaper, whose offices have been largely empty since March at the start of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, announced its decision Friday to staff via email.

”This is a decision about real estate needs amid a difficult and challenging time on both the public health and economic fronts,” publisher and editor-in-chief Andrew Julien wrote.

The move is the latest closure of a newspaper owned by Tribune Publishing following similar actions at the New York Daily News, Orlando Sentinel, the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, and The Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Tribune Chief of Staff Max Reinsdorf said the company is ”constantly evaluating its real estate needs.”

”As we progress through the pandemic and as needs change, we will reconsider our need for physical offices.”

It also follows a decision announced in October by the Courant to move its printing operations to Springfield, Connecticut, in the western part of the state, famous as the birthplace of basketball. The paper had been continuously published in the city for more than 250 years since starting as a weekly in 1764.

Because of the outbreak preventing reporters, editors, photographers, and regular office staff from returning to its building on Broad Street across from the capitol complex, it will formally close the office on Dec. 27.

The Courant has occupied its current location since the mid-1940s.

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