Willmar’s West Central Tribune announced today it will no longer print a paper on Mondays.
Publisher Steve Ammermann wrote in his letter to readers today that one of the reasons is the increasing cost of newsprint because of tariffs in the current trade wars.
First, rapid increases in newsprint prices, driven by recent and substantial tariffs. This has caused a 30 percent increase in material costs, with no clear end in rising newsprint prices. This increase has driven similar changes in publication cycles across the newspaper industry. In Minnesota, the Post Bulletin in Rochester adopted a five-day schedule earlier this year.
Second, declines in advertising revenue are a reality of the changes in our industry. In recent years, Willmar has experienced the closing of three major retail stores.
I know this decision will not be popular, and I get it. We are making moves that reduce costs that will allow us to produce a quality product. This is the new way to sustainability and the future. It’s a hard reality, but it is just true.
The Tribune, a six-day-a-week paper, will publish an electronic edition on Mondays. Ammermann says subscriber rates, which have not been raised since 2013, will not change.
“My hope is that readers will understand and, after this initial shock wears off, you’ll stay with us,” he said.