I want to thank you for your continued readership and patronage of The Durango Herald and take this opportunity to share our plans for the near future.
Nearly four years ago, I joined The Durango Herald and its media companies with a mission to preserve the high quality of journalism that has served this community for 65 years under the ownership and stewardship of the Ballantine family. That mission included ensuring that The Durango Herald remains a voice in the community providing accurate news, timely information, and engaging articles.
This has been a challenge in the face of intense changes in the media industry including the continued growth of mobile devices, social media, video and online content.
We have made positive strides towards this challenge, and have been able to extend the reach of our content to more than 300,000 readers through our websites, social media sites, email newsletters and text alerts. The level of reader interest has never been higher as our content is accessed more frequently and for longer periods of time.
Despite this success, the economic foundation of our media company has shifted. Much of the content we produce today is consumed through online searches and social media interactions that do not generate sufficient revenue to pay for the cost of writing, printing and delivering a daily newspaper. While this is not a new industry occurrence but rather an economic and technological market transformation, it led us to take steps toward determining how to achieve a sustainable financial model to continue to support our community with a print publication.
We engaged experts in community newspaper publishing and conducted reader focus groups with the goal of creating a model that supports our commitment to excellence in journalism and does not compromise our public service to the community.
Today, I am excited to announce a significant change that will assure that The Durango Herald will continue to be the voice of the community, dedicated to inform, educate and tell the stories of its residents.
Beginning April 1, The Durango Herald will repackage our newspaper sections to accommodate a four-day publishing schedule. Starting with our new Weekend Edition distributed on Saturday mornings, the Herald will adopt a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday distribution plan. We will no longer print a newspaper on Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday.
It is important for our loyal print readers to know that your favorite sections will still be available to you. In our new Weekend Edition, you will find more in-depth reporting and coverage of community news, local sports, editorial opinions and state government issues. The Weekend Edition also will be the new home of an expanded Southwest Life section and Wednesday’s Business & Technology section.
The Monday edition will continue to bring you “Around the Corners” personal profiles, Action Line and Caption This! along with calendars and news to help you plan your week. Food and Nutrition will stay in the Wednesday edition, as will local coverage, sports and opinion. Friday will continue to bring you the Arts and Entertainment section.
We will continue to produce, publish and insert into The Durango Herald our most popular magazines, including the Real Estate Guide, the Healthcare Directory, and the Summer and Winter Guides.
You will find all current news on our digital platforms as we will continue to produce and update news to our Durango Herald website and social sites throughout each day. In addition, daily email newsletters and breaking news text alerts are available to our readers.
We do not foresee a change in our current subscription or single-copy prices. The weekday edition and new Weekend Edition will carry a cover price of $1 and $1.50, respectively. The average daily price of an annual home delivery subscription will be approximately 70 cents per day, or a 30 percent discount off a weekday edition single-copy cover price, and a discount of nearly 50 percent off the Weekend Edition single-copy cover price.
Change can be difficult, but this change is important to assure a sustainable financial future for The Durango Herald. We remain committed to bringing you the most accurate and in-depth local news in print and online. I assure you that will not change.
I welcome your feedback.