The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

April 6, 2013

The Plain Dealer to reduce home delivery of print edition

Staff and Wire Reports
Star Beacon

— The Plain Dealer announced Thursday morning it will reduce home delivery of its print edition to three days a week this summer as it transitions to an online focus.

The three-day home delivery subscriptions, including a Sunday edition, will include access to an e-edition seven days a week, according to an announcement on the newspaper’s website. Print versions of the Cleveland paper will be available for purchase “at thousands of outlets throughout Northeast Ohio.”

As part of the widely anticipated change, the Plain Dealer is launching a new digitally focused media company called Northeast Ohio Media Group this summer.

The new company, to be led by current Plain Dealer Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Andrea Hogben, “will be responsible for all ad sales and marketing for The Plain Dealer and oversee the operation of Cleveland.com and Sun News,” according to the online announcement.

Reacting to the Plain Dealer announcement, Star Beacon Publisher Jim Frustere said, “I want to assure our customers that we do not have any plans to reduce the seven-day publication cycle for our print product. 

“We are committed to utilizing a variety of platforms to provide our audience with effective options that will accommodate the diverse ways people choose to receive their local news and information each day. 

“Our 13,000 print customers and 32,000 readers are an important part of our total audience and we remain dedicated to providing them with a great community newspaper delivered seven days a week. These customers are just as important to us as the 3,151 people that like us on Facebook and more than 200,000 “unique visitors” who get their Ashtabula County news, advertising and other local information digitally from our website each month.”

Star Beacon Editor Neil Frieder said, “With the exception of the company that owns The Plain Dealer, most daily newspapers, including the Star Beacon, in the United States are continuing to deliver their newspapers to customers seven days a week. Newspapers in this new cyber age are developing a number of ways to remain the most credible source of news in our society.”

Frieder said that what the Plain Dealer is doing seems to be unique to that company.