Years in print:
The owners of the West Countian shut down the paper’s operations in April of 1996. The closure, due to financial difficulties, ended the ongoing efforts of publisher Karen Bidzinski to keep the paper operational in the face of increasing financial pressures.
At the time, the paper had a direct mail circulation of 100,000 and a staff of 15
A source says the financial problems, based on an IRS tax lien, began after a partner in a real estate investment backed out, leaving Karen and Ed Bidzinski on the hook. Their efforts to negotiate a settlement with the IRS were rebuffed.
It was a difficult end for Karen Bidzinski. She had founded the Chesterfield Community News in 1981. That paper later morphed into the West Countian, along with two regional siblings: Central Countian and St. Charles Countian.