Beginning Oct. 1, the Statesboro Herald will change from publishing six days a week to three days a week.
That was a difficult sentence for me to write and it was a difficult decision for all of us at the Statesboro Herald and our parent company, Morris Multimedia, to make. It is a decision, however, I am confident will allow the Herald an opportunity to remain the most complete and accurate source of local news and information in Statesboro and Bulloch County.
The Herald will publish print editions on Tuesday and Thursday, with an expanded weekend edition on Saturday. The Statesboro Herald website — statesboroherald.com — will be updated regularly and a daily newsletter will be available to all Herald subscribers of the print and online editions via email. All of the Herald’s digital offerings are available across all platforms, including smart phones and tablets. We will have more details on how to sign up for the newsletter in the coming days.
Also, how the Herald will be delivered to your address will change significantly. Beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 1, the printed paper will arrive with your mail every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The paper will be available at your favorite store and racks around the area early in the morning on those days.
For many years, and the past two or three in particular, we have struggled to maintain a newspaper carrier force that is consistently reliable in delivering the Herald to print subscribers on time, six days a week. Placing the paper in the mail will ensure more than ever that subscribers will receive the Herald at the same time in the same location every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
And in that paper you will find an even more increased emphasis on local news, features and sports. You still will be able to read Dear Abby and figure out the crossword puzzle and Sudoku. The TV listings book will continue to be delivered every week and the Saturday edition will have all the insert advertising and flyers that help you in your purchase decisions.
I know this is disappointing news to you, our readers. All of us at the Herald appreciate your loyalty and support and we appreciate that reading the Herald first thing in the morning is not a habit you want to change.
There are many reasons and factors that led to our decision to reduce publishing days, but it boils down to the Herald needing to take a step back to move forward as a strong business.
The Statesboro Herald and the newspaper industry as a whole has struggled to find the right business model for more than a decade. Since the Great Recession that started in 2007, newspaper revenue has faltered. The rise and proliferation of smart phones, social media, the massive growth of online shopping and advertising and the endless number of websites that offer free classified ads, job listings and information, have caused almost all newspapers across the United States to experience considerable loss of circulation and advertising support.
But our step back doesn’t mean the Herald will stop being a vibrant and vital part of Statesboro and Bulloch County. Our traditional and historic role of chronicling all the things that are important to readers in our community will not change. We will continue to perform our role as the certified legal organ of Bulloch County, designated to deliver public notices. We will continue to be the best in-depth provider of news in our area.
With the decrease in publishing days, the subscription price of the printed Herald will be reduced to $109 per year. Rates for shorter subscription terms will be reduced accordingly. If you are a subscriber and have paid in advance, your subscription will be extended automatically and any bills you receive in the future will reflect the new rates. Also, if you are an auto pay customer, the rate your credit or debit card or bank account is charged will be adjusted automatically.
I have been editor of the Statesboro Herald for nearly 17 years and operations manager for the past seven. Some of you have subscribed to the Herald longer than both those terms and some are new to us. Some of you buy the Herald from a store or out of a rack a few times a week. Some of you read the Herald only online. But whether you’re a long-term subscriber or a new one, read the paper a few days a week or only on the web, you share a common motivation – you want to know what’s going on in our community and you trust the Herald as the best source for news and information about the events and people in our community.
Come Oct. 1, the Statesboro Herald will publish a newspaper three days per week instead of six, but that won’t change our commitment to serving the community or our responsibility of living up to the trust all of you, our readers, place in us.
Operations manager and editor Jim Healy may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org