Yesterday, the Nashua Telegraph told its readers that it would cease daily publication (as of today) and only print a Sunday edition. According to The New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism:
Saying they are “accelerating our move into the future,” The Telegraph of Nashua is moving online and ending its print publication except for the Sunday edition every week starting immediately, Monday April 27.
Under the headline “The Telegraph ushers in new era for local news,” the newspaper made the announcement Sunday and promised “The Sunday Telegraph newspaper is and will remain the region’s best and most complete source for news and advertising.
“While we will continue to showcase the people and news of Nashua and indeed the state in our traditional full print Sunday edition, we at The Telegraph are moving to online, mobile and text notification news during the week.”
It is not the only Ogden publication that has recently reduced the number of its print editions. As the Salt Lake Tribune described earlier this month:
The Provo Daily Herald is not a daily print newspaper anymore. Beginning this weekend, it will no longer deliver a Sunday edition — instead, subscribers will receive a Saturday-morning paper labeled “Weekend Edition.”
“I’m very excited with the introduction of the Weekend Edition, one big weekend edition filled with great community content you have come to expect from the Daily Herald,” said publisher Scott Blonde in a story printed in that paper. . . .
Readers were directed to the paper’s website, heraldextra.com, for anything they might miss on Sunday.
This is not unexpected as the newspaper industry has been in a multiyear decline in readership. Earlier this month, Forbes wrote about it:
According to the Pew Research Center, in 2018, daily newspaper circulation (print and digital) was an estimated 28.6 million for weekday and 30.8 million for Sunday. That was a drop of 8% and 9%, respectively, from the previous year. Not surprisingly, ad revenue has also fallen precipitously, from $37.8 billion in 2008, when the Great Recession began, to $14.3 billion in 2018, a 62% decline.
The coronavirus has accelerated that decline as the closing of local businesses has meant a precipitate decline in ad revenues, the primary source of revenue for most papers:
Cash-strapped newspapers’ latest challenge has been the coronavirus pandemic. A majority of newspapers are reliant on local advertisers as their primary revenue source. These include banks, car dealerships, restaurants, bars, retailers, realtors, movie theaters and community events such as concerts. With local businesses and nearby events shut down due to mandated quarantines, they have significantly cut back or stopped their newspaper advertising. The impact of the coronavirus has been swift.
(Another way of looking at our local Ogden papers’ advocacy of “reopening” the country sooner rather than later is that it is not so much about supporting Trump as it is about the paper’s economics.)
Will local readers soon see at least some publication days online? I would think so. For me, the first candidate ought to be the Monday editions which, as I often point out, have little actual news in them. Today was no exception: this morning's Intelligencer front page consisted of a report on I-70 repair that was announced last week, an article on a candidate, a Steven Allen Adams article, and two articles from other Ogden papers which took-up half the page. (One of these, the second in a multipart series on the musings of WVU’s president, will continue to take up front-page space for the rest of the week.)
By the way, the Charleston Gazette-Mail moved its Monday edition online last year.