The Sun converts to 5-days-a-week publication

Published 10:35 am Thursday, August 2, 2018

Beginning Aug. 20, The Winchester Sun 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,” publisher Michael Caldwell said. “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 TV listings. 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. However, we have continued to see that the majority of people access their programming guides through their TV service provider or the internet,” 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 Clark County and the surrounding areas.”

These decisions have been considered thoroughly over the past several months and were ultimately driven by two key factors.

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 to rising newsprint prices in sight. This has driven similar changes in publication cycle across the newspaper industry.

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.

Second, the move helps The Sun 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. Our website is read by more than 30,000 users monthly.

The Sun news staff will continue to produce stories and photos and publish those digitally in a 24-hour news cycle, seven days a week, as we have for a number of years.

“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. So we are fortunate as media has evolved, the combination of print and digital reading and marketing preference aligns perfectly with the skills and know-how of our staff and the methods of the newspaper industry.  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, some of which have been delivered at a loss to the company for years because of high delivery costs in rural areas, will remain the same.

Readers with questions about these changes are encouraged to contact us at: 859-744-3123 or mike.caldwell@winchestersun.com.