KMT's Central Daily News shuts down

A man reads the Central Daily News in Taipei May 29, 2006. The 78-year-old newspaper, which is owned by the Nationalist Party or Kuomintang (KMT), is

A man reads the Central Daily News in Taipei

A man reads the Central Daily News in Taipei May 29, 2006. The 78-year-old newspaper, which is owned by the Nationalist Party or Kuomintang (KMT), is

The 78-year-old Central Daily News, one of the world's oldest Chinese language newspapers, was shut down yesterday following the Kuomintang's decision to stop subsidizing the publication's huge losses.
The Kuomintang-run Central Daily News published its final addition with the headline, "Expect to meet again" on its front page.
"Central Daily News would halt publication 'temporarily' starting June 1 and plans to form a self-help committee to prepare for the resumption of publication," the newspaper wrote.
The Kuomintang's Central Standing Committee last Wednesday decided to cease providing the huge subsidies that the newspaper depended on for its survival beginning today.
According to a proposal presented to the committee to justify the closure, the newspaper's accumulated losses had reached NT$800 million with an average monthly loss of NT$9 million and total liabilities of about NT$81 million against total assets of around NT$47 million.
KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) showed great regret over the decision to cease publication of the newspaper, the spiritual symbol of the party, but stressed that the KMT could no longer afford the newspaper's huge losses as the KMT's present financial situation is different from that in the past.
According to one local newspaper, Ma noted that the KMT was having to provide a subsidy of about NT$90 million a year for the newspaper while the party itself is on a tight budget. The Taipei city mayor noted that "pragmatism" is the only option if the KMT is to survive.
The KMT said it would liquidate the assets of the newspaper within two months and promises to pay reasonable severance pay to its 80 employees.
The KMT further promised to search for a buyer for the daily newspaper, hoping that the paper could resume in the future after turning into a dedicated online publication.
The KMT's honorary chairman Lien Chan (連戰) said in the newspaper that he feels great sadness about the publication's demise, adding that he had deep affection for the newspaper and expected it would rise again.
"The newspaper was in print for nearly 80 years and is not only a witness to the unravelling of history, but is also the epitome of history. I thank the newspaper's staff for contributing to the newspaper for such a long time," said Lien.
The KMT, once one of the richest political parties in the world, with assets estimated at US$6.5 billion in the 1990s, has already sold its headquarters in Taipei and is set to move to a more modest building this month in a bid to shake off its corrupt image.
A long time ago
Central Daily News was launched on February 1, 1928 in Shanghai and quickly became a tool which the KMT used to propagandize thier ideas and central tenets. Central Daily News was put in circulation in Nanjing, then-capital of the KMT government in mainland China.
Central News Daily was previously forced to suspend publication on December 13, 1937 as Nanjing became occupied by Japanese military during the Eight Years' War of Resistance against Japan. The newspaper resumed publication on September 1, 1938 in Chongqing, China's temporary capital during World War Two.
The newspaper came to Taiwan in 1949 as the KMT government retreated to the island after losing the Chinese civil war to the communists.
During the 1950s, the Central News Daily was the leading newspaper on the island thanks to backing from KMT supporters, not to mention bans on running and publishing competing newspapers.
On April 26, 1983, members of the pro-independence movement exploded a bomb in the paper's office in a show of opposition to the newspaper's pro-KMT standpoint, 12 people were injured.
Following a lift on the ban on running other newspapers in 1988, the number of newspapers dramatically increased while the Central News Daily's circulation gradually decreased.
After the transfer of power from the KMT to the Democratic Progressive Party, in 2000, the KMT's financial situation deteriorated and the newspaper suffered huge losses due to a general slump in demand for print media.