The Durango Herald will eliminate three print editions per week beginning April 1 as more of its readers turn to its online and social media sites for news.
The change, which will include three weekday editions and a large weekend edition featuring readers' favorite content, will allow the company to refocus resources to provide timely online reporting every day.
"This change is in line with what's happened with newspapers around the country in the last decade," said Interim Senior Editor Sue McMillin. "It is costly to produce a printed paper every day, and fewer and fewer readers are buying papers. They read online, and so that's where we need to focus our news-gathering resources."
In addition, the Herald will publish print editions on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and deliver a weekend edition to subscribers and newsstands on Saturday morning.
At recent reader focus groups conducted by the Herald, many readers said they often "save sections" to read when they have more time, including on the weekends.
The new weekend edition will feature the Herald's best in-depth news reporting as well as other local, regional and state news and analysis. It also will be home to an expanded Southwest Life section that will offer features and columns about the region as well as health and community news.
The weekend edition will feature a sports and outdoors section, an opinion section, travel and religion news, comics, puzzles and classifieds.
The weekly business page will move from Wednesday to the weekend edition, joining the real estate section to bring a robust report on business in the region.
The Monday edition will continue to feature the weekly "Around the Corners" profile of local people, along with Action Line and Caption This!
It also will include a weekly calendar to help readers keep up with important meetings and events.
The popular Food and Nutrition section, with increasingly local coverage, will remain in the Wednesday edition with news, sports and opinion.
Arts and Entertainment will highlight the Friday edition.
"We are essentially repackaging our stories and sections into four editions that we believe will meet the needs of our print readers," McMillin said. "And we'll be reporting news online as it happens, every day of the week."
The first weekend edition will be delivered April 1, and the switch to Monday-Wednesday-Friday weekday editions will occur the following week.
No changes to subscription rates or the cost of a single copy are anticipated. The weekday editions will cost $1 and the weekend edition will be $1.50.
"These changes will provide a sustainable financial future for The Durango Herald to continue to inform our readers with content that is compelling and engaging," said Ballantine Communications CEO Doug Bennett.
"The owners, managers and staff of the Herald are committed to this mission."