The Daily Astorian front pages from the past few weeks

Following our March 19 announcement that The Daily Astorian will become The Astorian, with a three-days a week, mail-delivered publishing schedule as of May 7, I’ve heard from readers with questions about the change.

I thought I’d share some of those questions, and my answers, with you.

Why the change?

It’s important to make business changes that will enable us to continue to serve Clatsop County — now and in the future. Our newspaper delivery costs continue to go up, and it makes sense to partner with the postal service for delivery. They are in the professional delivery business and do it every day.

Although we will publish three days a week instead of five, our coverage will remain the same, and the three issues each week will contain all of the local news that we’re now publishing in five.

Why Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday?

We’re working on detailed plans for what the three-day-week editions will look like, but the broad outlines are taking shape.

Tuesday’s newspaper has long been our grocery insert day, and will continue to include those ads along with two sections. The A section will include local news and sports. The B section will include Water Under the Bridge, a new, pull-out TV schedule, features and classifieds.

Thursday has been and will continue to be home to the Coast Weekend arts and entertainment section, to give you a head start on planning your weekend. The A section will include local news and sports. The award-winning and popular In One Ear column will lead the B section.

Saturday’s edition is the new day for our weekend package, with Weekend Break, American Profile/Spry, national grocery coupons and weekend sales. During prep sports season, you’ll get Friday night results for local football and basketball teams. Seaside residents will also receive the Seaside Signal weekly on Saturday.

Will the subscription rate change, too?

At $11.25 a month, you will get the same local news in print plus extra sections of the paper you aren’t getting now, like American Profile and Spry, and starting in June more manufacturer coupons. The subscription also includes unlimited access to the e-edition and dailyastorian.com website, recently revamped with more video and multimedia.

We haven’t raised rates in years, but we can keep our subscription rates the same because of savings in delivery costs. The rate on the newsstand will be $1.50, reflecting bigger value in bigger issues. Watch for a special renewal offer coming next week that offers subscribers a gift card for renewing this month.

I get my mail at a post office box. What if I want to change to just online subscription?

We have an online-only subscription that takes into account the savings in delivery, newsprint and ink. For $8 a month, you can get unlimited access to the website, e-edition and soon a breaking news app for mobile devices.

What’s happening to the comics page? What about the crossword puzzles and horoscopes?

We’ll have expanded features, comics, puzzles and horoscopes in the B section of every edition. You won’t miss any of your favorite features on the off print days.

What about my carrier?

Although it makes the most sense for our business to move the print delivery to mail, it’s also the hardest part of the change. We will celebrate our past and current carriers with a farewell barbecue at our office on the last day of carrier delivery, May 3 at 11:30 a.m. We are also offering them additional incentives to deliver during the last month of service.

Other questions or suggestions? Please let me know at kborgen@dailyastorian.com or 503-325-4955.

Kari Borgen is publisher of The Astorian. Reach her at 503-325-4955 or kborgen@dailyastorian.com.

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