Earlier this week, the Gannett Company announced that three of its newspapers in Louisiana and Mississippi will cut their print editions to three days a week beginning next month.
The Pensacola News Journal is also owned by Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper publisher.
The Town Talk of Alexandria, La. and Hattiesburg American in Mississippi currently publish seven days a week. The Daily World in Opelousas, La. publishes six days. Each of the newspapers will transition to publishing print editions every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, beginning April 5.
The newspapers, part of Gannett’s USA Today Network, aren’t the first newspapers to cut their daily publication. In 2012, the New Orleans Times-Picayune and Mobile, Ala. Press-Register cut print frequency to just three days per week. Both papers are owned by New York-based Advance Publications.
Like the rest of the newspaper industry, the News Journal has attempted to shift toward digital in recent years, investing in apps, video, and other online initiatives, while laying off much of its staff. In 2009, the News Journal announced it would close its Pensacola printing operation, outsourcing newspaper printing to the Mobile Press-Register, and laying off 84 employees.
The Pensacola newsroom currently has 22 staffers, according to its website, down from more than 50 in 2010.
The News Journal had a peak daily circulation of 64,041 and a Sunday circulation of 81,633 in 2002. Those numbers declined to a daily circulation of 29,981 and a Sunday circulation of 47,892 in 2015, according to the company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
Gannett has experienced slower than expected growth, with net income falling in 2016. The company also experienced a major setback when its bid to acquire Tronc, the publisher of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and other newspapers, failed. Gannett’s strategy has focused on acquiring newspapers across the country in an effort to attract national advertisers, while also laying off hundreds of employees in local newsrooms across the country to help control costs.