You've asked, we'll try to answer

By KARI BORGEN Baker City Herald May 18, 2009 12:27 pm
Do you have to change?

Most of our readers wish that our publication schedule would remain five days a week. We certainly understand. However, most people we’ve talked to also understand that without a growing economy, it’s important to make business changes that will enable us to continue to serve Baker County well — now and in the future. Although we will not publish a Tuesday or Thursday paper, our coverage will remain the same, and the three issues each week will contain every bit of local news that we’re now publishing in five.


Will the subscription rate will change, too?

At $7.75 a month, our carrier-delivered subscription rate has not changed in 12 years.  At the time of our last price increase for carrier delivery in 1997, gas was $1.25 a gallon, a first-class stamp was 32 cents and minimum wage was $5.50 an hour.

Simply stated, our costs of doing business have gone up substantially in the past 12 years, while we have kept subscription prices the same. 

At a time when Baker County readers are coping with job losses and reductions in their wages, it didn’t make sense to substantially increase our rates. What we chose to do was to maintain the  level of service to our customers and our community by producing the same quantity of local news — and likely more, as our news staff, which is not being reduced, will have more time to devote to reporting — in three editions a week instead of five. We can keep our rates the same for subscribers because of savings in newsprint and delivery costs. The rate on the newsstand, however, will go to 75 cents.


Why Monday, Wednesday and Friday?

Monday’s newspaper has always been popular because of the roundup of weekend news and sports. Friday’s edition is our weekend package, with American Profile, national grocery coupons and weekend sales and events. It made sense, then, that we would choose Wednesday as our third edition, so that the newspaper would publish every two days. GO! Magazine, with the TV listings and weekend events will publish in Wednesday’s newspaper, along with milestone announcements and business news.


What happened to the comic, “For Better or for Worse?”

One of the unfortunate results of a change in publishing schedule is that the serial comic, For Better or for Worse, doesn’t make sense unless you read it every day, so we’ve discontinued it and will start a new word puzzle, “Wonderword” in its place June 1. For loyal fans, we did find that you can read it online every day at http://news.yahoo.com/comics.


We are planning other improvements with the change, including moving the community calendar and “Turning Back the Pages” feature to page two, and moving the weather forecast graphic to a full-color spot on page one.

Our staff will be putting their resources into expanded home and garden features, ag and business news and continued recreation and real estate features. We think you’ll find the increased local emphasis of each edition a more satisfying and informative read.

Let us know what else we can do, or answer for you. Please feel free to write to me at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , or mail to P.O. Box 807, Baker City, OR  97814. I look forward to hearing from you.