119-year-old Brazilian daily to drop print edition

Based in Rio de Janeiro, the once-influential paper has lost thousands of subscribers in recent years amid turmoil in the editorial offices and serious financial woes.

Though it was founded by monarchists unhappy with Brazil's transition from empire to republic, Jornal do Brasil became a champion of human rights during the country's 1964-1985 military dictatorship.

The paper's circulation declined from a peak of 150,000 copies per day to 21,000.

Owner Nelson Tanure announced the end of the print edition in a two-page notice in Wednesday's paper.

"Consistent with its tradition of pioneering and modernity, the Jornal do Brasil is again ahead of its time and, from Sep 1, 2010, will become Brazil's first 100 percent digital periodical," the notice said.

Tanure said Jornal was the first Brazilian daily to launch a web edition in 1995. He made no mention of the paper's financial problems.

The editors said current subscribers were consulted on the change and that they agreed to pay 9.90 reais ($5.60) a month for access to the web edition.

Other media outlets said Jornal do Brasil has debts totaling 800 million reais ($455 million) and suggested the aim of eliminating the print edition is to slash payroll, already down from 240 to 180 over the past decade.

Jornal was acquired by Tanure's CBM media conglomerate in 2001.

One of the conglomerate's other holdings, business daily Gazeta Mercantil, went under in 2009.

"We regret the passing of the Jornal do Brasil as a standard in Brazilian journalism and a great school for journalists, but that happened due to business mistakes," said the director of the Brazilian Periodicals Association, or ANJ.

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