The Washington Times published its last Saturday print edition in a move the paper’s top editor said reflects its shift toward becoming a multimedia news source.
In notices to readers, the newspaper announced Saturday it plans to switch its print edition to a new Sunday through Friday schedule.
After this weekend, readers will have to rely on the Web site for Saturday news. Print subscribers will be able to receive an electronic version of what would have been included in a print edition.
Low circulation on Saturday prompted the move, said executive editor John Solomon.
The Times’ average daily circulation for the six-month period ended March 31 declined 6.47 percent to 93,775 from 100,257 a year ago, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Solomon said Saturday had the lowest circulation of the week, but he didn’t have exact figures.
The Times was founded in 1982 by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, leader of the Unification Church. It has a following among conservatives for its editorial philosophy.
Solomon said resources previously devoted to the Saturday print edition will now go toward the paper’s new Web site that launched last week and a beefed up Sunday edition, which will roll out June 8 with a magazine-style cover.
The paper is also aiming to boost subscription numbers through a new electronic edition, which becomes available on Monday. The paperless subscription costs about $40 a year, compared with $104 for home delivery of the print edition.
Among other changes, a new design for the daily print edition debuts on Monday. The paper has also expanded its partnerships with television and radio stations.
Solomon said the new measures reflect the company’s aim to diversify.
“We’re striving to become a profitable newspaper and the new strategies are to transform us from a print newspaper to a full multimedia company,” he said.
Newspapers have made a variety of changes as their competition stiffens with online news outlets, said Sree Sreenivasan of Columbia University’s journalism school. He noted that in April, The Capital Times in Madison, Wis., moved to an all-Internet edition.
“We’re definitely seeing print newspapers adjusting in all kinds of ways to what’s going on around them,” Sreenivasan said. “They’re trying to adjust and they’re all trying different things, they’re trying desperately and this is a manifestation of this.”