A Newspaper Miracle in Kansas

By Richard Horgan Comment

HutchinsonNewsLogoThe 2016 edition of Editor & Publisher’s annual compilation “10 Newspapers That Do It Right” was published this past week on the heels of a movie about the final days of robust print journalism claiming Hollywood’s top prize. While most of the highlighted details involve the digital side of things, including the Baltimore Sun’s interactive Freddie Gray component and the Denver Post’s success with its Cannabist website, there is also some notable old-school newsroom shine.

Last fall, a pair of small Kansas dailies – the Hutchinson News and Garden City Telegram – came together to allow the latter sister publication to launch a joint Sunday print edition. You read that right; launch. The News already had a Sunday edition, but this was a first for the Telegram. The joint publication is now distributed by both papers:

“Since the launch, Sunday print home delivery for the News is up six percent year-over-year, the opt-out rate has been minimal, and both advertising and subscriber revenue has significantly increased for both papers,” said Sara Bass, News marketing director and circulation operations manager.

Meanwhile, the News’ separate publication Kansas Agland, which caters to agricultural communities in the western portion of the state, leveraged a solid combined digital and print strategy in 2015 to triple revenue and more than double ad count.

GardenCityTelegramLogoGarden City Telegram editor Dena Sattler, in a Dec. 25 “Editor’s Note,” celebrated the arrival of her Sunday print edition and wrote that she looked forward to shepherding the paper through its imminent 110th year. We’re going to call this fall print expansion at a legacy media outfit Miracle on North 7th Street. The News has a circulation of between 26,000 and 28,000; the Telegram, 6,800.

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