March 10, 2017 Last Updated 8:25 am

Two Gannett papers in Louisiana, one in Mississippi, cut print editions down to three days

The newspapers effected, the Hattiesburg American, The Town Talk, and The Daily World, will now appear in print only three days a week – Wednesday, Friday and Sunday

The news will be coming to folks in print less often in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and Alexandria and Opelousas, Louisiana. Gannett will be reducing the print editions down to three days a week from seven for the Hattiesburg American and The Town Talk, and the previous six days a week for The Daily World.

The Gannett papers today ran similarly written notices to readers by the paper’s editors, letting them know of the change.

“The Hattiesburg American is making a strategic change that further builds upon our digital-first approach by strengthening the direction of its exceptional seven-days-a-week newsroom and combining the best of its seven-days-a-week print product into three great editions — Wednesday, Friday and Sunday — beginning April 5, 2017,” wrote Nathan Edwards, President of the Hattiesburg American.

“The shift, driven by our consumers and advertisers, enables us to invest in new ways of doing business and better position ourselves for the future,” wrote Judi Terzotis, President, Daily World.

“Our research shows subscribers are increasingly choosing to access the Daily World online via our website, mobile, and tablet devices, with The Daily World having 5X more digital readers than print readers. In 2016, we had 635,812 unique visitors and 3.8 million page views. Audiences watched our videos 54,381 times – and another 156,439 times on Facebook. And the percentage of content consumed on mobile devices increased to 48 percent.”

Judi Terzotis is president of both The Daily World and The Town Talk papers in Louisiana.

“We know how much you depend on The Town Talk – and that’s important to us. Our dedication to providing trusted, local news and information to our community every day is unwavering. We will continue to report the news as it happens through our many online platforms, including thetowntalk.com, our mobile apps and e-newsletters,” Terzotis wrote in her note to Town Talk readers.

In February, four Gannett newspapers in the Southwest announced they would be shrinking their print editions as part of their shift away from print and towards digital. The he Las Cruces Sun-NewsEl Paso TimesCarlsbad Current-Argus and Alamogordo Daily News, each of which became fully owned by Gannett in the summer of 2015, were reducing the number of sections they would offer readers during the week.

“We will have fewer national and world stories. We will shift from four news sections to two Monday through Saturday, with four news sections on Sunday,” wrote Lilia Castillo Jones, president of the El Paso Times, and Robert Moore, editor of the paper.

“The biggest change will be to breaking news and sports,” said the Las Cruces Sun-News in a front page editorial. “Because of print deadlines, late and breaking news stories will publish online at lcsunnews.com, while we concentrate on more analytical and investigative stories for print. Sports scores and game stories will be published at lcsunnews.com/sports, very quickly after the games end.”

Gannett just ended a rather sobering year, seeing revenue grow a bit thanks to acquisitions, but net income fall. It also saw its roll-up strategy stymied when its bid to acquire tronc, the publisher of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and other newspapers, failed. Gannett’s strategy has been to expand its national foothold in order to attract national digital advertising, while at the same time reducing headcount to control cost while utilizing staff across the nation to create content for the local papers. So far, Gannett has succeeded only in reducing the size of their newsrooms and the quality of their newspapers.

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