The Joplin Globe is making a change in the way we deliver the paper to subscribers in a couple of weeks, and I want to make sure you understand how it impacts you, and why we’re doing it.
Beginning Nov. 2, the print edition of the Globe will be delivered to subscribers by the U.S. Postal Service, rather than by contracted carriers.
The Globe will still have same-day delivery, just as it does now. Papers will be hauled to post offices all five print days by 4:30 a.m. each morning, and postal carriers will put it in your mailboxes that day along with any other mail.
The price of the paper will not change. The content in the paper will not change. The paper will have all the same sections, supplements and inserts that it does now.
A little more than a quarter of our subscribers — 27% — already get their papers delivered this way.
And subscribers eager to see the morning headlines will still have access to the daily, replica e-paper in their email inboxes by 6 a.m. each morning, as well as access to all the latest news 24/7 on joplinglobe.com, or by clicking The Joplin Globe app on your Apple or Android smartphones and other devices.
So why are we doing this? A couple of important reasons:
1. It has become increasingly harder to find enough good carriers. The Globe has been fortunate to have many outstanding carriers over the years, including a core group of great carriers who we have today. But, we have also been unable to fill some routes after extended periods and, subsequently, had service issues on various subscriber routes.
Anyone who has waited in line at a local restaurant while noticing empty tables inside knows we have a staffing shortage in the economy right now, and not just in our community. There are more jobs available than there are workers.
The Postal Service already sends a carrier by your door six days a week, and by partnering with them we can ensure all of our routes have reliable, same-day service today and in the future.
2. This one is more significant, really. The move allows the Globe to sustain its award-winning, comprehensive local community content at the current levels.
Let’s face it, it’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on many businesses, community newspapers like the Globe included. Combined print and digital readership has been at record levels, but many of our advertisers have suffered, thus impacting our revenues. The Globe has already taken previous actions, such as reducing two print editions or raising subscription rates in order to offset revenue erosion, but more adjustments are needed.
Other than employee staffing, the No. 1 expense of newspapers is distribution — the cost of delivering the print editions to residences. This move to postal service delivery will result in significant annual expense savings for the Globe, allowing us to better maintain our team of quality journalists and local content emphasis.
Switching to mail delivery is actually a rapidly accelerating nationwide trend for papers in midsize or small markets for the last few years, with even some large metro papers also making the transition (The Salt Lake Tribune being one of the most recent).
Still, making this decision to shift to mail delivery has not been an easy one. We realize readers will get their printed editions later in the day than they are getting it now. That’s not ideal. Readers have already endured other changes. But newspapers are having to adapt and evolve with changing times. Faced with the choice of keeping the delivery the same, but with a lesser product or significantly higher subscription costs, we are choosing to prioritize keeping our local journalism, while maintaining same-day delivery and anytime digital access.
Keeping informed with credible news and information is important, perhaps more so than ever with so many unreliable sources in the marketplace. But you can still count on the Globe. For those already not receiving it there, the rest of you will be finding us in your mailbox soon instead of your lawn or driveway, but our heart is still in the right place. We will continue to stay committed to being a trusted source of factual content, keeping you well informed and connected to the community.
If you would like help setting up your digital access, call us at 417-782-2626.