The Provo Daily Herald is not a daily print newspaper anymore. Beginning this weekend, it will no longer deliver a Sunday edition — instead, subscribers will receive a Saturday-morning paper labeled “Weekend Edition.”
“I’m very excited with the introduction of the Weekend Edition, one big weekend edition filled with great community content you have come to expect from the Daily Herald,” said publisher Scott Blonde in a story printed in that paper.
Blonde is also the publisher of the Ogden Standard-Examiner, which, as of Wednesday, had not announced that it is cutting any of its print editions. Blonde and editors at both the Daily Herald and Standard-Examiner did not respond to requests for more information.
In 2016, the Herald was sold to West Virginia-based Ogden Newspapers Inc., which owns more than 40 daily newspapers and more than 80 weeklies, shoppers and magazines across the country. Ogden Newspapers Inc. purchased the Ogden Standard-Examiner in 2018.
The Herald story portrayed as a positive step what has become an alarming trend in journalism — reduced days of publication in print. The trend that has accelerated since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down businesses across the country, which have cut back on advertising as a result.
Dozens of newspapers — from Pennsylvania to Wyoming, Massachusetts to Florida — have furloughed and laid off staff and cut print editions. That includes the nation’s largest newspaper chain, Gannett, which owns 261 daily newspapers, including USA Today.
According to the Herald story, eliminating the Sunday edition will allow it to “continue publishing great stories that impact the lives of its readers in an ever-changing and competitive media landscape.” And the Saturday edition will combine “all of our readers’ favorite Saturday and Sunday features” and include “expanded local news coverage, features, business news and profiles” — along with the advertising inserts that were previously delivered on Sundays.
Readers were directed to the paper’s website, heraldextra.com, for anything they might miss on Sunday.
The Herald declared that “this change will better serve our readers with more in-depth reporting provided earlier in the week.”
And the paper asserted that by eliminating its Sunday edition, it will “be aligning itself with the practices of many other businesses in Utah County on Sunday by allowing employees to spend more time with their family, friends or attending religious events.” However, Sunday print editions of newspapers are produced on Saturday; newspaper staffers generally must work Sundays to put out Monday editions.