Tribune to change to 5-day print schedule

Published 10:10 pm Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Beginning in September, the Albert Lea Tribune will change print publication days to Tuesday through Saturday, no longer producing printed editions on Mondays.

The move to a five-day-a-week printed publication will help the community’s top media organization align resources with its core mission: informing readers and guiding customers to our advertisers. 24-7 news coverage will continue through digital products.

The decision has been considered thoroughly over the past several months and was 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 in rising newsprint prices in sight. This has driven similar changes in publication cycles across the newspaper industry.

The least profitable print edition of the newspaper will be eliminated, thus allowing realignment of resources to best serve customers’ needs and invest in continued quality journalism for the community. Once the change is made, there will be expanded coverage in the Tuesday edition.

Managing Editor Sarah Stultz said the Tribune’s newsroom staff will continue to produce award-winning journalism and look forward to continuing coverage of issues and events that are important to the community.

Second, the move helps the Tribune best match the printed newspaper’s frequency with changing reader trends of more people accessing news and information from its website on computers and mobile devices. The website is read by more than 80,000 users monthly.

“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,” said Tribune Publisher Crystal Miller. “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.”

Tribune 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,” Miller said. “Community newspapers, such as ours, are fortunate because we continue to have a healthy print newspaper audience, but reading habits have changed, too.”

She said the Tribune has served the community since 1897 and plans to continue doing so proudly for 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 due to high delivery costs in rural areas, will remain the same.

Readers with questions about these changes are encouraged to contact Circulation Manager Melissa Goodwin by phone at 507-379-3421 or by email at melissa.goodwin@albertleatribune.com.