The Cincinnati Enquirer, which took two-day holidays from printing and delivering Friday and Saturday newspapers Christmas and New Year’s weekends, will eliminate Saturday print delivery on March 5.
“The Enquirer will cease home delivery on Saturdays, but instead will provide subscribers with a full digital replica of the newspaper that day (at Cincinnati.com) filled with local news, advertising and features such as comics and puzzles,” the paper announced Wednesday.
The Enquirer, the nation’s oldest continuously published Sunday paper (since 1848), joins “more than 130 Gannett markets shifting to six-day print delivery,” says Beryl Love, Enquirer executive editor.
The cutback in home delivery frequency will not impact local news and sales staffing, the story said.
“Even though we’re still known as ‘the paper,’ the reality is we deliver local news and information on a vast array of platforms, including our website, mobile apps, social media channels and more,” Love said in the announcement. “Yes, we still produce a print edition, which remains an important part of our overall strategy. But we’re making a change in response to readership and advertising trends.”
Love noted that although there were no print editions New Years Eve or New Year’s Day, “we continued to publish news online during that time, even sending seven people to Arlington (Texas) for live coverage of the Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Eve.”
Subscription rates will not change with the elimination of Saturday newspaper deliveries, Love says.
“Subscribers are still receiving the e-edition on Saturday, which is a formatted, packaged news presentation that replicated the print experience,” he says. “They also will gain access to every e-edition in the USA TODAY Network, meaning as an Enquirer subscriber, I can read the Columbus Dispatch, the Indianapolis Star or any of the 200-plus publications in the network.”
Eliminating Saturday papers is a growing trend in the newspaper industry, as it continues to deal with steep declines in print subscriptions and advertisers. All 30 McClatchy papers, and nearly all of Advance Local papers, have dropped Saturday papers, notes Rick Edmonds, media business analyst for the nonprofit Poynter Institute for Media Studies Inc. in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Tampa Bay Times, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and both Salt Lake City papers have cut back even more days, he says.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer publishes print editions on only four days: Sunday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturyday.
Eliminating Saturdays allows the Enquirer to save on paper, one of its biggest expenses. From 2013 through 2019, the Enquirer switched to a smaller “compact edition” format in a cost-cutting move. It returned to the large “broadsheet” format two years ago.
The Enquirer launched a Sunday paper in 1848 when newspapers published weekly, semi-weekly or six days a week, according to a story by Enquirer historian Jeff Suess last September.
Here is the Enquirer announcement:
Enquirer announces change in print delivery frequency
Responding to continued rapid shifts toward digital news consumption, The Enquirer is announcing a change in print delivery frequency beginning March 5.
The Enquirer will cease home delivery on Saturdays, but instead will provide subscribers with a full digital replica of the newspaper that day, filled with local news, advertising and features such as comics and puzzles.
The new model means subscribers can get newspapers delivered to their home six days a week, with a digital newspaper available every day.
“Even though we’re still known as ‘the paper,’ the reality is we deliver local news and information on a vast array of platforms, including our website, mobile apps, social media channels and more,” said Enquirer Executive Editor Beryl Love. “Yes, we still produce a print edition, which remains an important part of our overall strategy. But we’re making a change in response to readership and advertising trends.”
The Saturday digital replica, or e-Edition, will have the same look and news as the printed newspaper. The digital format also has some additional features, such as the ability to clip and share articles with friends and family and adjust the text size.
In addition, subscribers of The Enquirer will now have access to the USA TODAY Network’s full suite of e-Editions across the country, as well as ad-free access to the USA TODAY crossword puzzle. The Enquirer is part of the USA TODAY Network, and the change being announced today also is taking place at numerous other publications in the network.
All print subscribers of The Enquirer have full digital access, meaning they have the ability to read news updates throughout the day, subscriber-only stories, and video and audio features, among other benefits. Subscribers also have 24/7 access to obituaries, legal notices and classifieds on our website.
News and sales staffing locally will not be affected as a result of this change. However, those staffs will be even better aligned toward digital news delivery.
“The digital era has dramatically changed the way we engage our audience,” Love said. “What remains constant is our commitment to serving the community with local journalism that makes a difference. It’s a mission we take very seriously, and now, more than ever, we rely on the support of our subscribers and advertisers to provide this vital service.”
Anyone with questions about the change can access their account online at help.cincinnati.com or call customer service at 1-800-876-4500.