September 20, 2013 Last Updated 10:18 am

Four Gannett papers to add USA Today section to its local editions in effort to boost reach of national paper, expand coverage

The publisher of USA Today, Larry Kramer, announced that a pilot program will be initiated where by a new USA Today section will be added to four Gannett local newspapers, The Indianapolis Star, The Democrat and Chronicle, the Post-Crescent, and The News-Press. The new sections will boost the circulation of the national newspaper, and provide more national and international news for the local papers.

USAT-front-lg“By partnering with our local markets, it helps us expand our circulation and allows our local partners to focus more on the regional coverage that their readers want. This pilot is an example of our unique ability to test innovative concepts as part of the Gannett portfolio,” Kramer wrote in a memo to staff.

While the move may prop up the national paper’s circulation a bit artificially, the move is a logical one.

“What we hear from our printed edition readers is that they want more,” Crotchfelt said. “We are making a bold move to give our consumers exactly what they’ve been asking for in our printed edition,” Karen Crotchfelt, publisher of the IndyStar said.

“Our mission is local,” Crotchfelt said. “Local leads, and it always will.”

In addition to the separate news section for USA Today, a new subsection will be added to Sports in each of the papers.

The danger, if you work at these Gannett papers, is the obvious risk that with more content coming from Virginia, there will be less of a need for editing and reporting of national news on the local level. Those reporters and editors who concentrate in this area might want to put their resumes in shape. But then again, newspapers haven’t been laying off journalists, have they?

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