Thursday, April 4, 2013

And now its Cleveland's turn: Advance Publications says home delivery of The Plain Dealer to go to three days

Advance Publications, which last year cut the print run of the New Orleans Times-Picayune and their Alabama papers down to three days, will be doing much the same now in Cleveland at The Plain Dealer, the newspaper announced this afternoon.

"A new digitally focused media company, the Northeast Ohio Media Group, will launch this summer to help meet the rapidly changing needs of local readers and advertisers," the paper said. As it did elsewhere, Advance will launch a new company, Northeast Ohio Media Group, which will be able to pick its reduced staff, which the demise of the old company will mean employees will have to scramble. Andrea Hogben, currently Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing at The Plain Dealer, will be president of the new entity.

Advance will also set up a production company, The Plain Dealer Publishing Company, which will continue to publish the newspaper seven days a week, though home delivery will be reduced to three days.

"These actions are aimed at driving innovation, capitalizing on the tremendous strengths of our existing organizations, preserving high-quality journalism and marketing solutions, and providing greater efficiency and flexibility in serving Northeast Ohio through print and digital applications," said Terry Egger, currently The Plain Dealer's publisher, who will become chairman of The Plain Dealer Publishing Company.

As has been typical of Advance's announcements, while the words "innovation" and "digitally-focused" are included in their announcement, no actual digital initiatives were announced, and the focus of the announcement remained firmly tied to layoffs and reductions in service.

"We are committed to delivering quality journalism and building a sustainable business in an increasingly digital era. We will continue to evolve in ways that best serve our community and meet the needs of our readers and business partners," Hogben said in the announcement.