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Winchester Sun moves to twice weekly publication

In response to unprecedented economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, The Winchester Sun next week will begin publishing two print editions a week — a midweek edition on Tuesdays and a weekend edition on Fridays.

Daily news coverage will be delivered at winchestersun.com, which has seen record traffic in the last 30 days and a surge in new subscribers as consumer preference for online news accelerates.

The Sun, like every newspaper in the world, has seen a sharp drop in print advertising as nonessential businesses are closed and events are canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of Thursday, nearly half of American newspapers had reduced their print frequency or had immediate plans to do so, according to a survey of publishers by Cribb, Greene & Cope, a newspaper brokerage firm.

Bluegrass Newsmedia management announced the changes to the newspaper’s staff Thursday, noting that the reduction in print frequency allows The Sun to avoid drastic cost-cutting actions such as layoffs, furloughs and across-the-board pay cuts many companies are implementing.

“Our newsroom remains busy, perhaps more than ever, bringing our community news in this unprecedented time,” Sun Editor Whitney Leggett said. “Even with this change, we will continue our dedication and hard work to deliver the news to our readers in innovative ways. The increase in audience at winchestersun.com indicates our readers are consuming news digitally now more than ever, and reducing print frequency allows us to meet them where they are.”

Print subscribers will receive the newspaper by mail on Tuesdays and Fridays, and copies will continue to be sold in sidewalk newsstands and retail outlets. Pages will be added to both weekly print editions.

The newspaper also will beef up its email newsletters, an increasingly popular way for readers to stay informed on a developing story like COVID-19.

Obituaries will be published online upon receipt from funeral homes and published in the next print edition.

The cost of a print subscription, which gives a reader unlimited free access to winchestersun.com, will remain the same. Subscribers who previously paid in advance will receive the number of issues they paid for, just over a longer period. Readers are asked to voluntarily pay the same rate to help strengthen Winchester’s newspaper during a time of unprecedented economic challenges.

If you have subscription-related questions, email us at circulation@winchestersun.com or call 859-744-3123. A customer service representative will respond.

“We remain as committed as ever to serving our readers and our community in this difficult time,” Leggett said. “Like all businesses, we need to make tough decisions as we navigate these uncertain times. We appreciate the support and trust from our community as we continue our dedicated work to Winchester-Clark County.”