bay_state_banner.jpgBOSTON (AP) _ The Bay State Banner, Boston's 44-year-old African-American newspaper, has suspended publication and laid off its 12 employees.

Publisher and editor Melvin Miller said Tuesday that financial pressures and advertising woes forced him to at least temporarily close the paper.

Miller says there's a chance the paper will restart publication if new investors step forth. But Miller said he will not actively “go around twisting arms.''

The Boston native founded the Banner in 1965. The paper most recently had a weekly circulation of 34,000.

Jeffrey Berry, professor of political science at Tufts University, says it would be painful to see the newspaper to close for good since it did an exceptional job covering the city's black community.