Last week, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web. Little did we know then how much the internet would affect retailing, banking and communications. We can publish news 24/7, something newspapers couldn’t have dreamed of 30 years ago.
Effective May 6, The Daily Astorian will change print publication dates from five days a week to three — Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Our masthead will change to The Astorian in print, but remain The Daily Astorian online, reflecting our commitment to continue to be a daily news organization, publishing breaking and local news digitally every day.
The way your print newspaper is delivered will also change. Starting May 7, you’ll receive your Astorian by postal carrier. Much like Amazon and UPS, we are partnering with the local postal service. Your postal carrier will become your new newspaper carrier. For most of you, your newspaper will arrive earlier in the day with the mail. The newspaper will be in racks and stores by 7 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Our doors will continue to be open for business five days a week, and the people who work with you at our business today will continue to be here to serve you as we always have.
Reducing our publication frequency will not reduce our local news content. You will receive all of the local news that we have been publishing in five issues, but it will be delivered to you in three. In fact, you will receive a two- or three-section newspaper every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Our subscription rate will stay the same as it has for the past four years. The price for the newspaper on the rack and in stores will go to $1.50, reflecting the value in larger editions.
We aren’t alone in deciding to allocate our resources to fewer, better print newspaper issues while publishing daily news online. However, unlike others whose top priority is reducing expenses, often by outsourcing printing and laying off pressmen, The Daily Astorian has invested in our press equipment and has become a central printing facility for newspapers in the Lower Columbia region. They include the Columbia Press in Warrenton, Hipfish, Tillamook Headlight Herald, North Coast Citizen in Manzanita, News Guard in Lincoln City, Clatskanie Chief, St. Helens Chronicle and of course our own newspapers — Chinook Observer, Seaside Signal, Cannon Beach Gazette and Columbia River Business Journal. These community newspapers remain viable in the areas they serve because we focus on local news. Print remains viable because regardless of our growing digital delivery, many customers still prefer a print product.
As information delivery preferences change, we’re invested in digital delivery, too. The Daily Astorian delivers Clatsop County news via print, web, social media, mobile phones and email. In December, we converted to a new website with expanded capability for video and multimedia. We will add a breaking news app with push notifications in the coming months to improve real-time news delivery.
Although our print delivery schedule will change, our mission remains the same as it has since 1873 — a commitment to relevant, credible local news and information for our readers, and the belief that a well-informed public keeps our community strong.
We will address plans for our new print editions in columns that lead up to our May 7 publication schedule change. Please contact me with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail to 949 Exchange St., Astoria.
I look forward to hearing from you.