Another Daily Drops Monday Edition

By: E&P Staff

The Dispatch, a New York Times Co. daily in Lexington, N.C., will stop publishing Mondays on Sept. 1, the paper announced Thursday.

In a story by William Keesler, Dispatch Publisher Ned Cowan said the elimination would help control costs, especially in newsprint and delivery. He said the move would also likely lead to the elimination of jobs, but in a meeting with employees Wednesday he said no final decision on the number of cuts had yet been made.

“This decision to move to a five-day print newspaper was a difficult one for me and for our colleagues at The New York Times Co.,” Cowan said. “But we believe it is a necessary one and not unlike changes that all newspapers and media companies are currently experiencing.”

Eliminating Monday is becoming something of a trend, especially among smaller-size papers like the 10,200-circulation Dispatch.

Two small GateHouse Media Inc. dailies in Illinois last month stopped publishing Monday. Newsprint costs that are up 45% from last year plus rising gasoline costs convinced the 3,100-circulation Daily Review Atlas in Monmouth, Ill., to make the move, General Manager Tony Scott said in a note to readers. The nearby Kewanee (Ill.) Star Courier also dropped Mondays.

The Dispatch had been a six-day-a-week paper, publishing Monday through Saturday since the late 1940s.

In preparation for the elimination of Mondays, Dispatch Publisher Cowan said the paper intended to launch new features and content on its Web site starting this Tuesday.

Eliminating Mondays is only the latest cost-cutting measure at the Dispatch, which in the past year has cut 19 jobs, or about a quarter of its workforce. He declined to provide figures.

The paper also outsourced printing to its sibling Times Co. paper, the Herald-Journal in Spartanburg, S.C.

The paper is also narrowing its web width beginning in November.

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