News-Herald to publish weekly in print
Beginning in February, the News-Herald will become a “digital first” news operation that will publish news and information daily on www.news-herald.net and in print on Wednesdays.
The final weekend print edition of the News-Herald publishes Jan. 24-25.
The change is necessary to direct more newsgathering resources to the digital operation of Loudon County Publishers, which produces the News-Herald, The Connection weekly newspaper, the quarterly Loudon County Magazine, two websites and numerous other specialty and niche print publications.
Since a redesign early last year, the News-Herald’s website at www.news-herald.net has experienced rapid and sustained growth in readership and revenues.
“With more and more readers accessing News-Herald content with their mobile devices, tablets and computers, it was inevitable that print frequency would be reduced,” Steve Meadows, News-Herald editor and publisher, said. “But what we’re actually projecting is that our page count will increase 30-40 percent for that single weekly print edition, offering our print readers a more robust midweek print newspaper.”
Readers migrating from print newspapers to digital publications isn’t a new trend in the newspaper industry. Numerous other newspaper companies across the nation have reduced the frequency of print newspapers in order to give digital segments of the business more resources.
“Simply put, when given the choice, many of our readers are gravitating toward the digital side of our business,” Meadows said. “Face it, most people today have a smartphone or tablet, and many of them like the simplicity and convenience of getting their news that way. If we’re going to continue serving our community the way we must, then we have no choice but to adapt to a changing marketplace.
“Local news is our focus, and we believe readers in this community still want to know what is going on in Loudon County and how it will impact them,” he added, “but the way we deliver that news is certainly evolving, and we need to be more responsive.”
Coinciding with the change is the use of a new press to print the News-Herald and its sister paper, The Connection, which is a weekly newspaper produced exclusively for the lake communities near Tellico Village. Both newspapers will now offer full color on every page.
“Our advertising customers have wanted more color availability for many years, so this change in publishing frequency created an opportunity for us to use a press that could offer more color and considerably better quality,” Meadows said. “We’re excited about our new print facility, and we know our readers and advertisers will see a big improvement in quality of the product that lands on their front porch on Wednesdays.”
All subscribers to the print version of the News-Herald will receive unlimited access to the digital newspaper at www.news-herald.net and will in the near future through a special partnership get a digital subscription to The Washington Post at no extra charge.
The cost of a home delivery subscription will not change, but the single-copy price of the News-Herald will increase to $1 with the Feb. 3 edition.
“We understand that adjusting to change can be challenging, but we also know that we must make this change now so that Loudon County Publishers can remain financially strong and focused on the task of providing local news and information in an evolving market,” Meadows said. “We’re committed to being the community newspaper of record for the Loudon County community today, and well into the future, and this positions us in such a way that we will be able to do that.”
For questions or comments, contact Meadows at 865-986-6581 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.