Publishing change proves a winner
Since June 1 of last year, the most frequent question I hear is, “How’s that three days a week working for you?”
In short, it’s working very well, thank you.
A year ago this month we reduced our publishing schedule from five days a week to three in order to cut our delivery and newsprint costs, but also retain our resources — our people — so as not to reduce the quantity or quality of local news or customer service to our subscribers.
And it’s working. Support of our subscribers and advertisers has been terrific. We have increased the page count in each of our issues and provide a two-section newspaper instead of a one-section paper each publishing day. That has given us more color pages, and added more advertising and inserts to every issue. Subscribers get three beefy issues now instead of five thinner ones.
We kept our subscription price affordable, the same price as in 1997, but increased the price of store and rack copies to 75 cents. Although simple economics would say that we should lose customers by raising the price, every single issue of our rack and store copies have sold more than the previous year.Local news, advertising and community information is obviously valuable to our readers.
Despite dire predictions of the death of print newspapers, we have been fortunate that our subscribers and our advertisers do still value the Baker City Herald, and our revenues have not seen the declines that the rest of the industry has experienced. So by reducing our expenses, we found a business model that makes solid financial sense, and we plan for future investments in technology and Internet enhancements that will continue to serve our customers, with both print and online delivery.
Of course, the test of our future will be to continue to cost-effectively provide you the information you want, packaged and delivered in a timely way. I hope that you will continue to let us know what you’re looking for in the pages of your Baker City Herald and www.bakercityherald.com.