Hattiesburg paper to print three days a week, starting in April

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The Hattiesburg (Miss.) American has announced plans to shift from publishing a print edition seven days a week to three – Wednesday, Friday and Sunday – beginning April 5.

In a letter to readers, Nathan Edwards, president of the Hattiesburg American, said: "The shift, driven by our consumers and advertisers, enables us to invest in new ways of doing business and better position ourselves for the future. Our research shows subscribers are increasingly choosing to access the American online via our website, mobile and tablet devices, with the Hattiesburg American having 8X more digital readers than print readers. In 2016, we had 2.3 million unique visitors and 13.8 million page views. Audiences watched our videos 251,000 times – and another 774,000 times on Facebook. And the average time you spent on our stories went up 2 percent."

He said, "This change is a strategic decision based on marketplace demand. Our three-day-a-week print products will be as robust as ever, if not more so, and contain all of the great content you have come to rely on and enjoy. We are taking every step to ensure our most popular features and columns find new homes in print. In addition, the majority of our businesses have already opted for a three-day model in print, with the Sunday, Wednesday and Friday editions currently containing the majority of the American's print advertising."

He also noted that the paper's mission "isn't just to be a news source – we want to help improve the community and shine a spotlight on what makes it a great place to call home.

"And we've done that in a variety of ways. Running a book drive for a Hattiesburg elementary school. Lending a hand with tornado relief efforts. Honoring some of the area's top young professionals and volunteers.

Read the full letter to readers

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