PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Today marks the first Monday without a printed edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Starting this week, the Post-Gazette is now only publishing newspapers on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.
This is the letter that was sent to subscribers. It says they will receive printed editions on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. Every other day will be digital. pic.twitter.com/7nuOncWDs3
— Chris Hoffman (@NewsmanChris) September 30, 2019
In August 2018, the Post-Gazette cut Tuesday and Saturday editions.
The paper will continue to publish a daily digital edition.
“We have not informed the public enough for what is a major change in a 232-year-old institution,” Pittsburgh Newspaper Guild President Michael Fuoco said outside the Post-Gazette’s North Shore building.
Members of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh dressed in black to mourn the loss of the print editions.
“We didn’t feel [there] was enough preparation for our readers to know what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and how they can navigate this new world,” Fuoco said.
He claimed the Post-Gazette should have done more than send out letters to subscribers and have an editorial in Sunday’s paper.
He wanted more community outreach to prepare readers for the change.
Fuoco said some readers are older and not technically inclined.
He also believes making this move during the Steelers’ season was a “bullying” tactic.
“That’s basically saying, if you want to read our content, you have to go to our digital content,” Fuoco told KDKA. “We hope they do.”
The Post Gazette’s General Manager and Vice President Lisa Hurm believes digital is the future, and they “have robust coverage” of local news, sports, features, and opinions.
“I think that we are in a survival mode for these news outlets. If you get into looking at putting out a printed product, it’s just too expensive,” the Director for the Center for Media Innovation at Point Park University Andrew Conte said. “That’s what’s going to be interesting to see happen here in Pittsburgh. The whole media ecosystem is changing.”
Fuoco hopes subscribers make the transition to digital, but he fears if they become frustrated they might drop their subscription.
He claims the Post-Gazette has received thousands of call for questions and concerns about the change.
“We hope and pray this new strategy works,” he said.
Hurm released a statement, saying:
“Starting today, the Post-Gazette will publish exclusively in a digital format on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Readers interested in print editions can purchase a copy on newsstands or have it delivered to their home on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. The Weekend Edition is also available in stores on Saturdays.
“As Allan Block, chairman of Block Communications, said in June 2018, “We believe the future is digital. We are maintaining our news department and the quality of the Post-Gazette. We have no plans to cut back on our commitment.”
“Every day, the Post-Gazette is published on several digital platforms including PGe, e-delivery of the newspaper, and post-gazette.com, as well as PG NewsSlide. All three platforms have robust coverage of local news, sports, features, opinions and the work of our photographers as well as news from the nation and world.
“Our Food & Flavor section will now be larger and will be published on Thursdays, along with an expanded Weekend Magazine, also on Thursday. And every Sunday, readers will get a Comics & Puzzles section that includes the entire week’s worth of comics and puzzles.
“While we know that many of our readers are comfortable with print, we encourage them to try our digital products. Digital is a superior means of delivery for what we intend to be, an even better and more in-depth journalistic product.”
The Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh released a statement, saying:
“Today, Sept. 30, marks the first Monday without a print edition under the Post-Gazette’s new production schedule, with no clear vision for moving forward as a mostly digital operation.
“All of us in the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh mourn the loss of print days for an award-winning newspaper and are equally concerned about the future.
To mark this sad occasion, Guild members at the PG today will be wearing black clothing and a black ribbon as reminders of what we and our community have lost.
We do this because we worry about our readers not receiving the information they need. Many are not inclined or equipped to digital platforms. We worry about the effect on democracy because of that. We worry about where the Post-Gazette, and our community, go from here.
Even as the Guild has been struggling for 2 1/2 years to gain a fair contract with PG owner Block Communications Inc., what hasn’t been lost is the vigilance and professionalism of the 140 journalists of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh.”