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Wichita Eagle bails on Saturday print

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by BurnsWhenIPee, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    We didn't switch to mail delivery primarily because of cost, although that certainly was a nice side effect. Our publisher wanted the paper out in stores and on people's porches earlier and earlier. Just before we switched, she had wanted carriers to start delivering at 1:30.

    The quality of person available to deliver papers in that town at 1:30 p.m. was not very high* or reliable. The company line also included liability concerns, and it probably wasn't a coincidence that this decision came within a few months of an incident in a neighboring community where a young carrier was hit by a truck while working his route.

    (* — Or perhaps was very high depending on the definition of "high" in context)
    PaperDoll likes this.
  2. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    Until the next recession comes along, newspapers will have trouble finding carriers of any age, at any hour of day. Why take that job when there are so many others that 1. pay better; 2. allow you to take days off; and 3. don't destroy your car.

    Unfortunately, the next recession might be the death knell for many print editions, so at that point daily papers won't need carriers.
    2muchcoffeeman likes this.
  3. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    Football isn't going to be affected by the killing of the Saturday edition until Kansas is well into its playoffs. But it looks like high-school coverage is going to be seriously truncated anyway. The high-school writer announced on his Twitter a few days ago that he's going to be doing less high-school stuff and helping with K-State and KU coverage. And I don't know if the Eagle still uses any stringers.
  4. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    Does the Eagle still independently staff KU and KSU or do they share with Kansas City?
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  5. Twirling Time

    Twirling Time Well-Known Member

    Mail delivery will kill high school coverage. Customers will be getting their Friday night results on Tuesday afternoon in one example I am immediately familiar with.
  6. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    I thought I read that if the paper got dropped off at an individual post office at something like seven in the morning in presorted bundles and the USPS could get it out the same day.
  7. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    In our case, the paper would get to everywhere we needed it to as long as we got it to the post office by 4:30 a.m. It helped that our post office was a hub for the region, so we only had to get it to that one post office and they'd take care of the surrounding towns.

    The mother ship's post office was not a hub, so over there they had to take the papers to each individual post office but they had more time to get them there. I think as long as most of them had the paper by 6 a.m., it was OK.
  8. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    Printing is being rapidly consolidated into centralized plants. I remains surprised that more papers have not moved to mail delivery. Even if the paper is being printed 100 miles away if the trucks roll by 3:00 A.M. A.M. or so they could hit the post office hubs. And that would allow papers to not have to work off such ridiculously early deadlines.
  9. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    The thing that might be keeping some papers from switching is the fact that the post office won't deliver a Sunday paper. We had to switch our Sunday paper to Saturday when we went to all-mail. But that was actually for the better since the deadline for that Sunday paper was noon Saturday, which meant we were basically sending people a Saturday paper on Sunday morning. Some of the carriers delivered them on Saturday anyway because they didn't want to hold on to them until Sunday.

    I suppose a paper could consider having carriers on Sunday only. We considered it but the mothership wanted to get rid of them completely, so we switched.

    Sunday publication may be the last thing newspapers want to lose, even if it ends up being the only day they print.
  10. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    I think it depends on how many o the Sunday ads can be pushed to a Saturday "weekend" edition. But retail advertising is fleeing newspapers so fast I don't know if there will be advertising to push.
  11. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    I was talking to an unnamed high level suit about newspapers recently for a project I'm working on. The suit conceded anonymously that delivery is low priority list item of newspaper companies. In fact it was shocking to hear his level of apathy. He said that delivering the newspaper to the curb is a tremendous expense and he conceded that the individual person doing the delivering has little to no motivation because of the low pay. He indicated he was doing a survey that came up with preliminary results that most carriers had 2-3 jobs. Carrier certainly was low on the carrier's priority list.
    The suit basically provided excuses for poor delivery blaming carriers and the independent companies that employ the carriers. If it gets too bad they look for a new delivery company. There is no reason to try to improve delivery, he suggested.

    All the time I was thinking ... Hmmm can you imagine if you suits had the same attitude about the newsroom? Nah the newsroom always gets the pressure to excel and blame when things go bad. Real tangible stuff like advertising and delivery .... boring.

    Oh and because of the incompetence in delivery, expect deadlines to become earlier and earlier. Holding up the print product 15 to 30 minutes to get in the Patriots game is a HUGE deal on the street.
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