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ANTHONY COOK: Answering your questions about our plan to print 3 days a week (column)

Anthony Cook

Anthony Cook is the executive editor for Consolidated Publishing. Reach him at amcook70@gmail.com or 256-235-3540.

The Daily Home (along with its sister newspaper, The Anniston Star) announced this week that we will shift the print publication schedule to three days a week — Wednesdays, Fridays and a weekend edition that will be delivered on Saturdays.

 

Those papers will be delivered with your mail by your postal carrier.

 

With print subscriptions on the decline, these changes, which will begin the first week in March, are part of shifting our business model to focus on the growing part of our market — digital news.

 

Our reporters and editors will continue to report the news every day and provide it first through our online platforms, including our website, Facebook, Twitter and our mobile apps. The print editions will be heftier, newsier and will feature more in-depth coverage of local issues.

 

We believe this is a win-win solution that many other news organizations have already taken in recent years, but we know you have questions. Following are answers to some of the questions you’ve raised about the changes, and some are questions we anticipate you might have:

 

What happens with the subscription I purchased when it was five days a week instead of three? Do I get a refund for those papers?

The end date of your subscription will be extended so that you receive the same number of papers you purchased under your current subscription. 

 

Why deliver on Saturday and not Sunday?

We are transitioning to mail delivery through the postal service, which doesn’t deliver on Sundays. 

 

If the paper is delivered on Saturday, how can it be called a Saturday/Sunday weekend edition?

The new weekend edition will contain the latest news reported through the day on Friday, including high school football. But it will also contain the traditional Sunday features, including Sunday Comics, Editorial, Life and Arts, coupons, etc.

 

What if my current subscription is only for the Sunday edition?

You will receive the weekend edition on Saturday.

 

How am I going to get my newspaper?

Your mail carrier will deliver the newspaper to you on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays whenever you normally get your mail. 

 

I’m a print subscriber. How do I read the news online?

You get free access to annistonstar.com with your print subscription. To use it, visit www.annistonstar.com/subscribe, look for “Free access for print subscribers,” click “get started,” and follow the directions. If you need any help, just call our customer service staff at 256-235-9253. 

Also, be sure to download our mobile apps for The Star and The Daily Home, available for iOS and Android. Just visit annistonstar.com/apps for more information. This is how you’ll receive our breaking news notifications directly to your cell phone.

 

I want to sign up for an online subscription. How do I do that?

If you’re already a print subscriber, see above. If not, just visit annistonstar.com/subscribe, look for “Online subscription,” and click “get started.” You can sign up for $7.99 per month, or $69.99 for a year. After 30 days or 365 days, we’ll renew your subscription automatically so you never miss a story.

 

Will you still publish e-editions for Thursday and Saturday online?

No, but you can still read the latest news on our website or in our mobile apps. We won’t design newspaper pages on days when we’re not printing. Staff who would normally design pages on those days will instead work to help us cover more stories, so you get more local coverage.

 

How am I supposed to get the news on days when there’s no paper? If something happens on Wednesday or Saturday, will you just ignore it?

Our staff is always working to cover the news, no matter what day it happens. We publish those stories at annistonstar.com as soon as they’re ready, and we include them in the next printed edition. 

When we publish stories online, we put the word out on Facebook and Twitter, so be sure to follow us there. 

 

What’s going to happen to the comics, the crossword puzzle, sudoku, etc.?

The Wednesday, Friday and weekend editions will contain the same kinds of comics and puzzles we print now. Each edition will likely include one day’s worth of puzzles and answers, and that day’s version of the comic strips.

 

“You’ve disappointed me,” a friend said in a phone call Friday morning. “How am I supposed to drink my coffee now?”

 

He was giving me a hard time about the changes, but said he understood why they had to be made. His sentiment of disappointment has been expressed by many of our longtime print subscribers, but I assure you that we don’t wake up every day trying to think of ways to disappoint you. If the traditional business model still supported the journalism we produce, we wouldn’t make these changes.

 

However, every analytic measure we examine tells us this is our best option to continue providing you with local news coverage in the long term.

 

As other questions come to mind, please share them with us by calling 256-362-1000, or email me directly at acook@dailyhome.com

 

 

Anthony Cook is executive editor of Consolidated Publishing.

Executive Editor Anthony Cook: 256-235-3540. On Twitter @AnthonyCook_DH.

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