Decatur Daily print edition frequency to change

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In a column published yesterday, Clint Shelton, publisher of The Decatur (Ala.) Daily, announced that the paper is changing the print frequency of the paper to five days a week – because of changing reader habits and a new tariff being levied against newsprint.

Beginning March 5, the print edition of The Decatur (Ala.) Daily will be delivered daily except Saturday and Monday. The monthly subscription rate, unchanged since 2015, will not change.

In his column to readers, he wrote:

"Reader habits are changing, and we're adapting to those changes.

"The Daily's audience today is larger than at any time in newspaper history. The Wednesday print audience is 43,000 readers, comparable to Sunday, which traditionally has been the highest readership day. We also generate monthly visitors from 232,000 different digital devices, which include smartphones, tablets and desktop computers. Annually, www.decaturdaily.com generates 18 million page views.

"One of the reasons for the shift in frequency is newsprint, our single-largest expense outside of payroll. Our newsprint cost is increasing a minimum of 22 percent, or $300,000, in 2018 for the company. Almost 40 percent of that increase follows a new tariff levied on newsprint Jan. 8.

"Rest assured that, while the frequency of the print edition is changing, our commitment to covering news, sports, events and stories every day of the week remains a 24/7 priority for our staff and journalists. Our dedication to providing trusted local news and information to our community is unwavering. We will continue to report the news as it happens through our many online platforms, including www.decaturdaily.com, our mobile editions and e-Editions.

"To illustrate the evolving way people receive their Decatur Daily news, usage on mobile phone and tablet devices has increased 114 percent in just two years. Our monthly digital users has increased by more than 54,000 visitors, or 32 percent.

"As a member of The Decatur Daily family, we encourage you to explore all of the benefits we provide:

  • "Enjoy unlimited access to local news from any device at www.decaturdaily.com;
  • "New email Newsletters: Saturday and Monday Comics, Daily Obituaries and Funeral Notices, and Monday and Saturday Morning News Briefings;
  • "One of the top Weather Apps with breaking news text alerts;
  • "Coupons, grocery deals and retailer bargains to save you hundreds of dollars each week;
  • "The Decatur Daily e-Edition five days a week."

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