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Advocate converts to five days a week: TV listings, color comics retired as resources redirected toward local content

STAFF REPORT

advocate@amnews.com

Beginning Aug. 20, The Advocate-Messenger will change print publication days to Tuesday through Saturday, no longer producing a printed edition on Mondays.

The move to a five-day-a-week printed publication will help our community’s top media organization align resources with its core mission: informing readers and guiding customers to its advertisers. The news organization will continue 24/7 news coverage through its digital products.

“The change will allow our staff to focus more precisely on producing a quality community print newspaper on the days readers and advertisers have proven matter to them most,” said Michael Caldwell, interim publisher. “It also allows our news staffers and sales team to invest more time and energy in development of our digital publishing products, which continue to grow rapidly in use by our readers and advertisers.

Additional changes include eliminating the publication of television listings and no longer printing color comics in the weekend edition. The newspaper plans to add a variety of editorial content in coming weeks to offset these changes, including expanded Opinion commentary and local voices, standing features that will showcase the amazing people who call the region home and in-depth reporting on the big picture issues facing our community.

“This was a very difficult decision because we know some readers look to our TV listings for this information and enjoy the weekend comics section. However, we have continued to see that the majority of people access their programming guides through their television service provider or the internet and the comics simply aren’t the primary reason people read the Advocate,” Caldwell said. “These changes allow us to better utilize our valuable resources to do what we can do best: Focus on our core mission of providing local news, sports and advertising for Danville, Boyle County and the surrounding areas.”

The decisions have been considered thoroughly over the past several months and were ultimately driven by two key factors, Caldwell said.

First, rapid increases in newsprint costs, driven by recent and substantial tariffs, have caused a nearly 30-percent increase in materials costs, with no clear end in rising newsprint prices in sight. This has driven similar changes in publication cycles across the newspaper industry, he said.

“The least profitable print edition of the newspaper will be eliminated, thus allowing realignment of resources to best serve our customers’ needs and invest in continued quality journalism for our community,” Caldwell said.

Second, the move helps The Advocate-Messenger best match its printed newspaper’s frequency and content with changing reader trends of more people accessing news and information from its website on computers and mobile devices, he said.

The website is read by more than 30,000 users monthly.

“Over the last decade particularly, some newspaper readers have migrated from print newspapers to newspaper websites for their primary news source,” Caldwell said. “Community newspapers such as ours are fortunate because we continue to have a healthy print newspaper audience, but reading habits have changed, too. Ours is the only media company in the community that employs journalists and top marketing professionals. Making this move positions our company to continue to thrive as the dominant media outlet in central Kentucky.

“Our community media company has served our community since 1865 and we plan to continue doing so proudly for many, many years to come.”

The print newspaper will continue to be delivered to subscribers by the U.S. Postal Service. The subscription price of the printed newspaper will remain the same, as it has been many years since a price increase and delivery costs have continued to rise, Caldwell said.

Readers with questions about these changes are encouraged to call (859) 236-2551 or email mike.caldwell@amnews.com.