Auburn Journal to reduce print edition to two days a week from five — focus on online

The Sunday memo is here:

“The Auburn Journal is now in its 145th year of continuous operation much due to the strong community support it has received through the decades. This support has carried us through some amazing times and we have been very appreciative to be your community newspaper.

“We are embarking on a positive change that is going to enable the Auburn Journal to continue its important role in the community for years to come, while improving its content at the same time.

“Beginning on Sunday, Dec. 3, the Auburn Journal will reduce its print production from its current status of five days a week to two days a week, published every Thursday and Sunday. The newspaper will continue to publish seven days a week on the auburnjournal.com website and email newsletter.

“Over the last year, many of you have expressed your concerns that your local paper often contains more national news than local news. You have spoken, we have listened and you will be pleased when you see what is coming to your Auburn Journal in the near future. Each edition will be packed full of great local news that is relevant to your community.

“You will see 100 percent local news coverage, not national news. As your community newspaper it is our responsibility to bring you the in-depth local news happening in your community, the unique news that you won’t find anywhere other than your community newspaper and website.

“We are designing a regional reporting team that will tackle Auburn and Placer County issues better than we ever could before; enabling a larger team of professional writers to collaborate on hot topics that matter most to you. At the same time, creating interesting content that covers topics you have expressed interest in, like local politics, healthy living and education.

“To lead this new reporting team, Gold Country Media has promoted Bill Sullivan to associate publisher. Sullivan was the general manager at the Folsom Telegraph, our sister publication in Folsom, before accepting this new role.

“We will strive to bring you dynamic page layouts. We will get back to featuring more local photographs of local events. We will make sure we bring you plenty of positive news to balance out the news that is either tragic or negative.

“At your request, we will begin to bring you weekly editorials and commentary that is well balanced, informative and enlightening. Our writers will tackle local issues, along with notable individuals in the community submitting their own monthly views and commentary. We encourage you to share your news, events, and your voice to everything that matters to you.

“When it comes to local news and sports, we strive to be your sole local resource where you can learn about the new business in town and still find out who won the big game on Friday night. We will be your community newspaper, covering the news in a fashion that you will surely grow to love once again.

“With this re-launch, the Auburn Journal will be able to efficiently bring a stronger, more dynamic newspaper to our readers. This benefits our advertisers more than ever. With interesting local content that our readers thrive on, our advertisers will reap the benefits with improved visibility.

“Many of you who are current subscribers are likely curious about your subscription rate. We are addressing that as well, by reducing your rates accordingly to align with the reduction in distribution and double the amount of time left on your subscription. The two newspapers you will receive each week will be packed full of interesting local content and pictures. We are committed to making this a win for everyone, especially our readers, our advertisers and the entire community we serve.

“We understand that you may have questions or concerns about this change. We want to hear from you and we welcome you to contact us. For advertising inquiries feel free to contact Beth O’ Brien, advertising director, at 530-852-0223 or by email at BethO@goldcountrymedia.com. For all other inquires, feel free to contact Bill Sullivan, associate publisher at 530-852-0250 or by email at BillS@goldcountrymedia.com.”

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

2 thoughts on “Auburn Journal to reduce print edition to two days a week from five — focus on online”

  1. As a native of Auburn, this news is both sad and hopeful at the same time: sad because so many of us grew up with our parents and neighbors reading our morning local newspaper (as I do now with The Union!)…and hopeful because of the direction the Journal is ostensibly taking in renewing their focus on in-depth coverage of local issues and events. The memo’s emphasis on “regional reporting teams” as well as “a larger team of professional writers” certainly sounds positive and a major step forward–something that perhaps our own local paper might choose to emulate.

  2. I read this ‘story’ this morning and frankly – cynicism trumping credulity – I didn’t believe a word regarding the reasons for shifting to two papers per week. Probably my first real job when I arrived in California in 1986 has affected my attitude: I was a bundle dropper and paper deliverer for a daily in the bay area. (Papers hadn’t shriveled in girth by loss of advertising then and Sunday’s was still substantial.) Naturally I saw the AJ’s move as a way to reduce expenses by cutting down on paying the motorized delivery persons. On Tuesdays the paper is so thin, six sheets maybe, that rubber bands will slide off unless doubled and re-doubled over and over. Reminds me of when I returned from Vietnam in 1969 and let my oh-so-thin and fine hair grow down to my shoulders. But when for convenience I tried to rubber band my revolutionary locks, the rubber band inevitably slid off for lack of adequate purchase, allowing the wind to be my comb, tossing my head straw every-which-way.

    I didn’t think I’d ever come across a paper so deficient as The Union but I did, at least to my way of thinking, though those readers wanting just local news apparently are the ‘base’ which drives circulation here in Auburn. I’m sure The Letters to the Editor – the only section I read with regularity – resembles the tone of many Union comments, and I find so many of ‘our’ letters devoid of sense, real information and competent analysis. Too often opinions scream out, “I come from Hannity or Tucker or now, Ingraham,” and attempt to rebut comments from those they label the ‘low information voters.’ The deeper the mud in which such commentators and the big cheese they defend wallow in the more adamant and ferocious their protestations become. So much more than just “Sad.”

    And recently I caught the AJ in a move I thought rather disreputable. My subscription was up for renewal and the notice I rec’d to facilitate this event contained a rate I thought was way over the top, much more than I was willing to pay for no sports, no national news, no state news. I was satisfied to let the issues run out. Then another notice arrived offering renewal for half the price. So I called customer service, mentioned the confusing offers and learned I could also renew for $9.00 +/- a month, significantly less expensive than even the lower of the two previous offers. And I could cancel anytime. I tried to question the CS person about the moving target of renewal fees but she avoided answering by ignoring my attempts to speak and with constant, sweet-toned talking, over me and around the issue.

    I think now is the time to say adios Auburn Journal and I doubt I’ll miss any news fit to print.

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