Monday and Tuesday's editions will be condensed to save money


In today’s newspaper, you’ll find a significant change — one that we take reluctantly but that’s nonetheless necessary as we continue to cope with the economic downturn affecting every industry.

The Local section has been merged into the A section, and the Classifieds advertising pages have been folded into the Sports section to save newsprint expenses.

We are taking a similar step with Tuesday’s Tribune.

The Local section will return Wednesday and be published through Sunday.

“Although we expect to see some improvement next year, we still anticipate advertising revenue to be down, so we must act conservatively and continue to keep an eye on costs,’’ said Bruce G. Ray, publisher and president.

“These are difficult decisions for us to make because we know the changes will impact readers, but we believe they’re necessary to preserve our core mission — to provide quality news and information locally,’’ he said.

Savings in newsprint allows The Tribune to retain staffing, focusing its energy on covering local news.

The Monday and Tuesday editions were selected to be condensed because they have fewer ads and slightly smaller circulation than the other days of the week. The move will be reviewed after revenue improves.

The Wednesday through Sunday editions will not be condensed, though the Business section will be trimmed back on a few days.

“We are committed to maintaining a print edition seven days a week, as well as expanding online at SanLuisObispo.com,’’ Ray said, adding that The Tribune continues to broaden its reach.

Print and online readership has grown in recent years, he said.

In one month, for example, The Tribune and SanLuisObispo.com reach 79 percent of all county adults.

Today’s changes represent the latest cost-cutting measure taken by The Tribune. Like newspapers nationwide, it has trimmed some features sections, reduced staff, mostly through attrition, and cut wages. Many newspapers have gone further in combining sections.

In condensing the newspaper, a few features will be moved to later in the week and the daily listing of 500 stocks will be dropped, remaining only on Saturday.

Jennifer VanderSmith’s Pet Tales column will move to Thursday. Health page content — most notably Linda Lewis Griffith’s column — will move to Friday. And David Middlecamp’s Photos from the Vault column will move to Saturday. All three had run on Monday.

Kid Scoop, which has long run on Tuesday, will move to Wednesday.

As always, we welcome your reaction. Please call 781-7885 and leave a message, or e-mail me at sduerr@thetribunenews.com.

— Sandra Duerr