In an effort to preserve newsroom jobs, beginning March 1 a physical copy of The Times Record won’t appear on subscribers’ doorsteps on Mondays. But the same journalism will remain available online to subscribers five days per week.  

The Times Record will continue to produce its ePaper — the electronic edition — Mondays through Fridays, according to Executive Editor John Swinconeck.  

The change also means physical print editions will be delivered to subscribers by 7 a.m. each morning Tuesday through Friday. The ePaper will be available by 5 a.m.

Swinconeck said discontinuing print editions of the Monday paper will save on paper production and distribution costs. He said the move will both preserve newsroom jobs and ensure “our journalism continues to improve.” 

Although the paper will lose ad revenue from the Monday papers, Lisa DeSisto, CEO of Masthead Maine, which publishes five daily newspapers including The Times Record, said ad revenue is usually the lowest Mondays. 

This seismic shift has been felt in newsrooms throughout the state and country. The Portland Press Herald, Sun Journal in Lewiston, Morning Sentinel in Waterville and Kennebec Journal in Augusta, collectively ceased printing their Monday papers last year for the same reason — cutting costs to save newsroom staff.  

“It has proven to work for them and I’m confident it’ll work for us,” said Swinconeck. “We’re seeing that daily papers from the largest metropolitan areas to smaller coverage areas such as our own are cutting back on their print editions while still producing daily news online.” 

With the removal of the Monday print edition, DeSisto said subscription costs will remain the same, but subscribers will be able to access news on the Portland Press Herald’s website with the same username and password for their Times Record account.

“We know about 25% of Times Record subscribers also subscribe to the PPH already,” said DeSisto, referring to the Portland Press Herald. “For those who don’t, this is a new benefit.”  

Daily newspapers nationwide have cut back on print editions since the early 2000s. Last year, The COVID-19 pandemic brought a significant drop in advertising revenue, giving newspapers a renewed need to cut expenses and few avenues to do so. 

In March, Gannett, the county’s largest newspaper chain that owns more than 260 daily U.S. newspapers, announced major cuts resulting from reduced advertising revenue. Many employees saw one week of unpaid furloughs each month while executives took a 25% pay cut, according to Tom Jones, a writer from Poynter, a nonprofit journalism research center. 

In the same month, the Tampa Bay Times announced a new printing schedule — Wednesdays and Sundays — after losing more than $1 million in just two weeks, according to a memo to staff. The Tampa Bay Times closed its own printing facility in January and signed a three-year deal to outsource printing to Gannett. 

While Jones wrote that reducing printing days highlights a grim undercurrent of dwindling advertising revenue U.S. newspapers are experiencing, the switch to digital-only comes with a silver lining.

“Most places are already placing less emphasis on print while upping their digital products,”  Jones wrote.

In line with the paper’s increased attention to digital journalism, Swinconeck said readers will see improvements made to The Times Record’s website.  

“We’ll have a distinctive look, more online content that will be posted earlier, as well as photo galleries,” he said.  

Swinconeck said The Times Record is following the lead of its readers, who have been drifting more to accessing content online rather than through print copies. “We’re seeing more and more from our readers that while they enjoy having a physical print edition, they’re looking more to the web as their primary source of news.”  

Swinconeck said the ePaper, a PDF version of the daily paper complete with local news stories, comics and puzzles, will be available to readers online, posted Monday-Friday.  

“Remarkably, it’ll be posted online by 5 a.m. for those early risers,” DeSisto said. 

Although the shift toward the digital format may be uncomfortable for some, DeSisto said she’s confident readers will adapt.  

“We know from our experience that most people adapted to the Portland Press Herald’s change,” said Desisto. “Some people said they don’t like it, but they figured it out.” 

Print subscribers should make sure they are connected to their online account in order to access the ePaper. They may do so by visiting timesrecord.com/connect and following the instructions posted there. Those who need help can call (207) 504-8224 or email [email protected] 

DeSisto said The Times Record’s newsroom will remain intact, meaning readers won’t notice any cutbacks in the quality journalism the southern Midcoast is accustomed to.  

“We’ve seen what happens when newspapers get eliminated across the country,” said DeSisto. “Journalism is at the heart of what we do. It’s so important for reporters to be embedded in our communities, holding local officials accountable, and providing important information to those within the community.” 


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