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Even The Athens Messenger is “progressing,” with some new press equipment installed at the news building in The Plains.

It’s no secret: the news industry is changing.

Earlier this month, the Columbus Dispatch announced its printing services would be moved to Indianapolis in March, which would amount to about 188 employees losing their jobs.

The move is attributed to the Dispatch’s parent company GateHouse Media’s merger with Gannett in late 2019, which allowed the consolidation of printing services with relatively close facilities.

Here in Athens, changes to the newspaper industry are also effecting the Messenger. As a locally-written and locally-printed county paper of record, we are committed to remaining Athens County’s source for hometown news. In conjunction with our dedication, we are listening to the requests of readers and moving our Sunday Messenger to now be delivered on Saturday morning. Because of this, we are introducing the new Athens Messenger: Weekend Edition for subscribers and readers in our region.

The Weekend Edition will be introduced on Feb. 1, 2020.

“This move gives us the ability to broaden our daily reach and provide better service for areas that we’ve had difficulty finding reliable carriers,” said Mark Shorts, director of distribution and audience development for APG Ohio.

Shorts explained that the papers will be delivered to local U.S. Postal Service Offices for USPS carriers to deliver them on their mail routes. Last summer, this same model was tried for Crescent News, an APG Ohio publication located in Defiance, Ohio, and it was found to be “very successful.”

“This will be same-day delivery,” Shorts said. “It will also help with our reliability of delivery.”

He said that some readers would be receiving their papers a little later in the day, but stressed that same-day delivery has been promised through this partnership. Each day’s news is published to the website by 5 a.m., allowing readers to start the day caught up on the local news of the day.

All print subscriptions include online access. Those who are experiencing difficulties logging on to athensmessenger.com should call the office at 740-592-6612.

The Messenger staff remains committed to providing reliable local and regional news each and every day for Southeastern Ohio residents, despite changes in the print news industry. We are committed to providing the news that matters to our readers and will continue to build on our award-winning reputation throughout the new decade.

In November, editor Tyler Buchanan took a new position reporting for the Ohio Capital Journal in Columbus, pushing staff reporter Heather Willard into the position of interim editor. Keep an eye out for an announcement of our new editor in the upcoming weeks.

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