Merged ‘Herald-Mail’ Debuts In Hagerstown, Md.

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By: E&P Staff

The first issue of The Herald-Mail rolled off the presses early Monday morning, completing the merger of The Morning Herald and the p.m. Daily Mail.

“The merged paper will be larger so we can incorporate more comics, features and news,” Editor and Publisher John League said in a note to readers Sunday. “Deadlines are being adjusted so we can do our best to publish West Coast ball scores in the final editions of the paper. Our plan is to leave nothing out.”

He noted that all the comic run in the now-folded afternoon Daily Mail will be included in the new paper, along with continuing all the comics from the morning paper.

“Between now and Jan. 1, 2008, we will begin to convert all of our Mail subscribers to morning delivery,” League added. “Some will continue to receive the paper in the afternoon until the conversion process is completed.”

Like all afternoon papers in a two-paper market — even under common ownership — the Daily Mail had been fading badly. In 1989, it was basically on par with the morning paper, averaging a weekday circulation of 21,062 to the Herald’s 21,468.

By last September, though, the Morning Herald was outselling the Daily Mail 22,719 to 12,599. In a Friday article in the final edition of the Mail, League said the Schurz Communications owners had held onto the afternoon paper as long as it could. The papers had long run a combined weekend edition.

“Personally, I’ve worked here for 28 years, or two years longer than I’ve been married,” League wrote Sunday. “This newspaper is in my blood. We still had two competing newsrooms when I was hired as a Morning Herald reporter. And I have to admit, saying goodbye to both papers is a bit tough.”

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