Mobile, Ala., ‘Register’ Changes Name to the ‘Press-Register’

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By: E&P Staff

The Mobile (Ala.) Register yesterday changed its name to the Press-Register to better reflect the paper’s coverage of a large portion of southwest Alabama, including areas outside Mobile City. The name change will accompany several editorial shifts, including an “amplification of our community coverage,” Editor Mike Marshall said.

“We believe the future of our franchise in part depends on how we do with community news,” he explained.

On Wednesday the twice-weekly Mobile County Neighbors section will replace a Thursday special section that was zoned editorially for the Points North, Points South, and Suburban communities. Although editorial content will no longer be zoned, the paper has increased its advertising zones to five. The new section will retain several popular columns and will include a re-tooled Things to Do calendar.

Marshall said Neighbors, published on Wednesdays and Fridays, will cover items such as “who made the cheerleader team and who’s the captain of the debate team.” “We can deliver that kind of news, whereas electronic media cannot,” Marshall said of the paper’s emphasis on local coverage. “Down to the street level kind of community news, the chicken dinner news.”

Citing competition from “real-time sources,” the Press-Register will also cut its Tuesday-through-Friday stock listings, while retaining its four-page Saturday summary and still including up-to-the-minute listings on its Web site. Marshall said he’s happy that complaints about the dropped listings have been light and no one has threatened to cancel their subscription over it.

In 1932 two Mobile papers, the morning Register and afternoon Press, were incorporated and their joint weekend edition was named the Press-Register, which quickly became the paper’s de facto title. In 1994 the afternoon paper was dropped and the paper became the Mobile Register. “When you were around the water cooler, people continued to refer to us as the Press-Register,” Marshall explained. “It really represents not much of a change in our readers’ parlance.” The Mobile Press Register Inc., owned by Advance Publications Inc., has been in continuous publication since 1813.

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