Next month, the printed edition of the Statesboro Herald will transition from three days to one day per week. It will be delivered every Thursday and be available in stores and racks on the same day.
That is a big change. But what is not changing is that we will continue to produce and distribute new news and information about our community every day.
Financially, it has been a difficult few years for the Herald and for the newspaper industry. The raw material costs of printing your local newspaper have increased significantly over the past 18 months. Ink is up 26%, newsprint is up almost 39% and press plates are up more than 51%. Driven by higher fuel costs, and a 12% increase in postage over the last two years, delivery costs are dramatically higher. At the same time, businesses who are the foundation of our advertising customer base are spending less with our company due in part to their own businesses facing similar stresses.
As a result, beginning January 19, 2023, the Statesboro Herald will have a printed newspaper on Thursdays only. The edition will have much more content than previous single days.
The Thursday paper will include the TV Entertainment Weekly, inserts from grocery stores, other businesses and coupons. It will have all the trusted local news and sports you rely on from our journalists. Obituaries, police reports, business news, Soundoff, comics, crosswords and Dear Abby. The Lifestyles section will have all your favorite features and columnists in every edition. All our special sections – Pride, Graduation, Veterans, to name a few, along with the monthly Moments magazine, will be part of your Thursday paper.
And, I want to be clear, we are committed to providing even more local news and information with our E-Editions, website, newsletters and social media. In fact, we are adding two E-Editions, which will be available to subscribers five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday.
Our traditional and historic role of chronicling all the things that are important to readers in our community will not change. We are not reducing the Herald’s editorial staff, which creates the credible journalism essential to our community. Our experienced reporters, photographers and editors will give you the most accurate, reliable and complete information you can get about our community every day. Nowhere will you learn more about your neighbors who help make our community a wonderful and unique place to live than in the pages or the websites of the Statesboro Herald.
However, the rising expenses of printing and delivering a newspaper three days a week are not sustainable for the Herald as a business. Also, we must adjust to the fact that more people read our content on their phone, their tablet or desktop/laptop computer than ever before and that number is growing. People want timely content they can access when and how it is convenient for them.
About 10 minutes before 11 p.m. Tuesday night, Georgia Southern graduate Bryce Leatherwood, who now calls Statesboro home, was named season champion for The Voice. Shortly afterward, we posted a story on statesboroherald.com and on our Facebook page announcing Leatherwood’s amazing accomplishment.
By Wednesday morning, the story had received nearly 10,000 views and was shared on social media hundreds of times. By Wednesday evening, that number exceeded 25,000 views.
The story also appeared in Thursday’s print edition of the Statesboro Herald with a few more details and quotes about Leatherwood. A number of you reading this may not have known about The Voice story, but for anyone with any interest at all, the story in the paper was not new news.
Make no mistake, we always will value the printed newspaper, but at the same time we see more and more people deciding not to pick one up. That’s a trend that started years ago and accelerated exponentially with the advent of smart phones.
Become a subscriber
If you are a subscriber or regular reader of the Herald, I thank you. If you are not, I encourage you to support our journalism and become a subscriber, which gives you access to all the expanded E-Editions and content on our website. (At this time of year, a subscription to the Herald would make a great Christmas gift. Just a suggestion!)
Also, if you are a subscriber and have not registered for the statesboroherald.com website, I urge you to do so. We would be happy to help you register, if you like. Please call us at (912) 489-9460. Also, you are welcome to come to our office or we could even arrange a visit to your home if that would be more convenient.
As the Herald transitions into a once-a-week printed paper and even more content online, I am asking for your continued support. Our commitment to serving the community remains steadfast and we always will strive to live 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