In 2003 the paper eliminated zoned editions for the Eastside and South King County in an effort to reduce losses. A restructuring in 2004 resulted in laying off 7% of its staff. Most of the cuts were from the editorial staff, and included editor Tom Wolfe, who had served on the job since 1995. Barbara Morgan, the executive editor, took over the newsroom.
The Sound Publishing, a subsidiary of Black Publishing of Canada, bought the paper in 2006, and closed the paper on January 21, 2007. In the face of competition from the Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspapers, the combined Journal papers had been losing money since 1994, while circulation had dropped to 39,100. At the time it folded, the King County Journal was the state's eighth largest paper.
Before its purchase by Black Publishing, the King County Journal also published nine community newspapers ranging from Bothell/Kenmore to Kent. Two were published weekly, while the other seven were published twice monthly. With the closure of the Journal, Black has announced increased frequency in the papers: all will be published either weekly or twice weekly beginning in early 2007.