As readers open mailboxes June 1 to find no newspaper, staff at The Democrat encourages them to consider several factors that led to the decision.
The Democrat’s publisher cited a recent and significant spike in newsprint prices as the main reason for the reduction in publication days.
“As you may be aware, our government has just put a 25 percent tax on newsprint from Canada. The cost of newsprint was already up 10 percent before this happened. These additional 25 percent price increases have forced us to make changes in how we serve readers and advertisers with our printed edition of the newspaper,” said George Coleman, publisher of The Lebanon Democrat.
Publication days for The Democrat, starting June 1, will be Wednesday, Thursdays and Saturdays. Features such as the Views editorial page, crosswords and comics will double, so readers don’t miss a thing, and sections such as Faith, Education and Food and Health will remain.
The Wednesday paper will contain the Food and Health section with the shuffling around of some columnists such as Ann Haney, who was before published in Saturday’s Living section.
Thursday papers will contain the Education section, as well as an expanded Business section, which will move from Saturday’s paper.
The Saturday Living section will remain, with the addition of the Faith section and Church Directory normally found in the Friday paper. Jack McCall’s column and Pets of the Week, which were formerly printed in the Tuesday Community section, will now print in the Saturday Living section.
“No one should consider this a loss, because there are bonuses in several aspects of The Democrat,” said editor Jared Felkins. “First, it will allow our staff to do more in terms of overall content with less time consumed laying out print pages. Secondly, we will have to opportunity to delve into some really innovative projects to deliver the news to Wilson Countians like it’s never before been done. Finally, we will continue to operate as Wilson County’s best source for news and information as we eye our 130th year in operation – Wilson County’s oldest business – in 2019. This is certainly a positive step in the right direction for The Democrat.”
And for readers who regularly visit lebanondemocrat.com to get their news, they will notice more content and some new features, as well.
“We’re changing our focus to serve the growing online market while still making print a priority. Our readers will lose nothing during this transition, especially with new initiatives to create superb content,” said Democrat news editor Sinclaire Sparkman.
Part of the online initiative will include more video each week, as well as increased interactions on social media to get readers engaged with their community.