As a kid growing up on 94th Street, our family always subscribed to newspapers. For years we received the weekly West Omaha Sun on Thursdays. But our main source of news every day was the Omaha World-Herald.
My parents (and my wife’s parents) preferred the afternoon edition on weekdays, like most of that era’s newspaper subscribers. Their habits became our habits. At our house, Jackie and I subscribe to both the morning and afternoon editions to this day.
Publishing both a morning and afternoon edition is referred to as an “all-day” publishing cycle. That idea lost popularity over the years, and you might find it interesting to know that the Omaha World-Herald, as near as we can tell, is the only remaining “all day” subscription-based newspaper in the world.
So the next sentence is really hard for me to write. We will become an all-morning newspaper, effective March 7.
There, I said it. For me, and for generations of our readers who have been loyal to our afternoon edition, this will feel a little like losing a close friend. I owe you an explanation as to why we are doing this.
Let’s start with the truth about the modern “all-day” publishing cycle. While it’s alive and well, it has taken a form unimaginable in the era I grew up in.
Today The World-Herald is delivering news and information on smart phones, desktop computers, laptops and tablets as well as through our print edition. We now have Internet-based video, audio, photo galleries and searchable databases.
Our “all-day” publishing cycle is now 24/7 on Omaha.com and our other websites, where 1 million visitors read nearly 15 million articles in a typical month. We have more people than ever before reading and viewing Omaha World-Herald content in all its forms.
Many of our most faithful readers have developed habits much like my own. I catch updates from Omaha.com, Big Red Today and Live Well Nebraska much of the day and do more of my in-depth reading with the paper.
For years our morning and afternoon editions have been more similar than different. Our newsroom aims to produce a daily print report full of interesting news, analysis and features. Nearly all of those enterprising articles begin in our morning edition. The afternoon paper is updated with all the latest breaking news, as is Omaha.com throughout the day.
In recent years our print readers have voted for their favorite delivery time -- preferring mornings over afternoons by two to one. It’s a ratio that has flipped over the past 25 years, when subscriptions to the afternoon paper had dominated our metropolitan-area circulation.
Yes, a piece of this is about economics. This makes us more efficient. It will allow our newsroom to concentrate on producing one indispensable print edition as well as up-to-the-minute news on Omaha.com and a plethora of additional features on our various websites and news apps.
It will save printing and distribution costs and help improve delivery service. Instead of two sets of delivery carriers, we’ll have one. This will lead to better home delivery for all of our print subscribers.
In fact, one of the triggers for this decision now is a strong push by our Circulation Division to improve our customers’ experience.
That starts with purchase of a 21st century computer system to better track print and digital subscriptions, deliveries and other customer needs. When we went shopping for a new subscriber management system, we discovered nobody even designs a system that serves both our digital and print customers for both morning and afternoon.
When we implement this change in March, it’s important for both our morning and afternoon readers to know the following:
Sections in The World-Herald will remain the same. You will continue to enjoy your favorite columnists, features, comics and puzzles.
The switch of your delivery from afternoon to morning will be automatic. You don’t need to take any action for this to happen.
Whether you’re a morning or afternoon subscriber, your new morning carrier will continue to place the newspaper where you have it delivered now.
Your carrier will be getting accustomed to a new morning route that includes our former afternoon edition subscribers. We ask for your patience in the early going.
Our newsroom will have just as many reporters helping produce the award-winning coverage you rely on. The World-Herald has by far the largest news-gathering staff in Nebraska. News will reallocate some afternoon edition production time to making the morning edition as strong as possible as well as to providing constant updates to our website, mobile site and mobile apps.
Our regional footprint will not change. We will continue morning delivery to homes in 46 counties in Nebraska and 17 counties in western Iowa.
We will continue our commitment to providing the best customer service possible. Please call us at 402-346-3363 or 800-234-6942 if you have any concerns. If you prefer to communicate via e-mail, please contact email@example.com.
We hope each one of our afternoon edition subscribers will enjoy morning delivery and use our constant updates on Omaha.com for the most current breaking news and information.
Seven-day subscribers receive unlimited digital access as part of their subscriptions and are eligible for our Platinum Rewards program, which offers money-saving offers at hundreds of local stores and restaurants. We strongly encourage our seven-day subscribers to sign up for these valuable programs. They are included with your subscription, and you can easily sign up by contacting our customer service team at one of the telephone numbers shown above.
Subscribers who receive the newspaper less than seven days a week can upgrade to include unlimited digital access for an additional charge. If you need assistance, please call us.
So, thanks to our readers, advertisers, news sources and employees, all of whom have made us the strongest news voice in the Midlands for 150 years. We will continue to work tirelessly to bring you in-depth, interesting, indispensible news and information.
We are honored to be your news provider of choice, and we look forward to serving you for decades into the future.
If you have questions or comments for me, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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