It’s been almost three months since The Daily Astorian became The Astorian, delivered three days a week by mail.
So how’s that working for us?
Thanks to our readers, advertisers and employees, most of the time it’s working really well.
As of last week, we had 22 less print subscriptions than when we changed delivery the first of May. That’s not what we like, but it is what we expected. What we didn’t expect is that we are selling an average of 98 more copies a day in stores and racks than we did three months ago. Plus we have 29 more digital subscriptions than we did on May 7.
Our advertising is up over the same time last year. And our expenses are significantly reduced with the changed delivery and schedule. Three days a week, mail delivery has proven to be a good business model for The Astorian.
So what does that mean? Why should you care?
The Astorian did not cut staff or reduce local news content. The news we were publishing in five days is all still there in three weekly issues.
Is it important for you to know how your public officials are dealing with building heights, traffic issues, homelessness and vacation rentals? You bet it is. That’s why we pay our reporters to go to public meetings, research the documents and interview affected people on local issues, so you can learn the facts to make decisions on voting, shopping and living here.
What about the latest entertainment, your kids’ school activities, the score of the Warrenton baseball game? We pay reporters to cover those things too.
Our team works daily, and posts news online daily. In fact, our traffic to dailyastorian.com last month was more than 134,000 users and nearly half a million page views. Because we are members of news-sharing organizations Associated Press, Tribune Regional News Service and EO Media’s other newspapers, the news we offer goes far beyond just our county. If you’ve ever wondered why a story you read in print or online from us was on Portland television, it’s because it was first reported in The Astorian and picked up from us through a news-sharing agreement. That’s how news published here can impact the rest of the state, Northwest, even the nation.
Those reporters and pages, print and online, are paid for with advertising and subscriptions. Your subscription dollars help pay for local journalism to be delivered to you. The bulk of our revenue, however, comes from advertising. Local businesses reach you, our readers, with their information by buying ads in print, online, social media and email from The Astorian. Advertising helps our local businesses prosper by growing their sales and customer base, and that helps keep locals employed producing the newspaper.
The other revenue for our business comes from printing other regional news. The Astorian serves as the regional printing facility for newspapers in the Lower Columbia region, including the Columbia Press in Warrenton, Hipfish, Tillamook Headlight Herald, North Coast Times in Manzanita, Cannon Beach Gazette, News Guard in Lincoln City, Clatskanie Chief, St. Helens Chronicle and most recently added, the Wahkiakum Eagle.
Of course we print EO Media Group owned newspapers too — The Astorian, Chinook Observer, Seaside Signal and Coast River Business Journal. As other printing facilities in Tacoma, Olympia, Centralia and Longview have closed, we’ve made a commitment to provide small newspapers a high-quality printing facility by investing in a new press tower and upgraded distribution equipment.
That’s a long way of saying that’s why we think it’s important to make good business decisions like three-day-a-week mail delivery at The Astorian. 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 plan to continue to employ local journalists, customer service and production staff for many years to come.
Please contact me with questions or comments at email@example.com, or mail to 949 Exchange Street, Astoria.
I look forward to hearing from you.