Starting in January, the Post Bulletin will adopt a five-day publication schedule, eliminating Friday’s print edition. The move will coincide with efforts to add improved local news coverage in the remaining five editions, while adding more exclusive online content on Fridays.
"Having a modern business model that fits today’s world will allow us to improve the paper overall, while protecting our readers from price increases for the foreseeable future" said Publisher Len R. Small. "Everybody knows the world is changing, and we intend to prepare for a better future."
The Post Bulletin joins many other papers nationally, from Cleveland, Ohio, to Kankakee, Ill., that have dropped one or more days of print publication and continued to provide robust news coverage and ad content both in print and online. A Post Bulletin analysis found the vast majority of those papers have successfully implemented this strategy over the past decade, said General Manager Chris Blade.
Other successful national publications, such as USA Today, built their success on a five-day model.
“Our newsroom will continue to produce award-winning news, sports, lifestyle and opinion pieces and we will be investing additional resources in print, including new syndicated columnists and the addition of new journalists,” said Jeff Pieters, Post Bulletin life editor. The Post Bulletin's current staff of 32 journalists and its roster of freelancers and other outside employees are being maintained through the switch.
Some news and advertising content regularly published in Friday’s edition, such as Real Estate Marketplace, store inserts and obituaries, will be moving to other days of the week. Subscribers have full access to all of the PB's content at Postbulletin.com
, which additionally features a vast array of content not available in the print edition.
The expanded local content on Fridays at Postbulletin.com
will include photo galleries, news videos, and other unique digital features. Friday’s Morning Mail, the Post-Bulletin’s email newsletter, will be expanded to include preview coverage of weekend events. Many thousands of people already receive that newsletter daily, and more e-newsletters are planned.
The move is seen to improve the financial position of the Post Bulletin in a changing digital marketplace that similarly affects other local businesses, including broadcast media.
"Plainly stated, quality local journalism comes at a cost, but is an investment for both our future and the community's," said Kristy Mintz, the Post Bulletin's marketing director. "Subscription fees only pay a small portion of the cost of delivering the news. Income from ad revenue is changing. A five-day press schedule is the most viable option for maintaining and improving our 24/7 news coverage and developing Postbulletin.com
, one of the most visited news websites in Minnesota, with over 500,000 monthly readers."
Blade added, "No other news organization in Southeast Minnesota has the depth and breadth of coverage that the Post Bulletin has. We’ve been the most trusted and valued news source in the area for more than 150 years, and that won’t change. We truly believe this change will only make the PB stronger as we go forward into the digital era. We’re grateful to the tens of thousands of readers and advertisers who make this possible and support us.”
The Post Bulletin is the largest evening newspaper in Minnesota and the largest daily newspaper in southeastern Minnesota, covering 60 communities and seven counties with an average daily readership of more than 70,000, more than 80,000 for the weekend edition, and over 500,000 online readers.
More information on the change and the coming improvements, including information for subscribers to access online features, will be advertised in the coming weeks.
Changes at a glance
• The PB will discontinue Friday's print edition, but continue in print Monday through Thursday and on Saturday, with the expanded Weekend edition.
• Content will improve, both in print and online.
• Friday digital content will be especially improved.
• A survey of preprint advertisers indicates continuation of their products without any loss.
• Helps protect subscribers from a price increase in the foreseeable future. Subscription prices will not immediately change.