Yes, we are jettisoning our Monday edition.
To bastardize Bob Geldoff, we don’t like Mondays. That is, our society doesn’t like Mondays.
It’s a groggy and nasty day – people are still thinking back wistfully to the weekend and they don’t want to deal with the coming week, the shadow of which seems long and foreboding.
Apparently, the last thing they want to do is read a newspaper.
This isn’t unique to Whitehorse. Across the country, Monday editions are tenuous things.
Still, we thought we’d crack the code.
For 13 years we stuck by our grand experiment, trying to grow Monday into something as beefy as our Wednesday and Friday editions.
It just wasn’t happening.
“The Monday edition, which we launched in 1996, never matched our thriving Wednesday and Friday editions,” said Yukon News owner Steve Robertson. “We added popular columns, great sports coverage by Tom Patrick and complete TV listings, but we couldn’t grow our readership enough to make it as desirable for advertisers as our other editions.”
It was, in other words, the runt of our litter – still a purebred, but small. And far too easy to ignore.
As well, and not to get too newspapery on you, it was tricky to produce. The publishing deadlines were razor thin, forcing us to pull a slight of hand to conjure stories that would interest you. Apparently, nobody was entirely happy with the result. Especially not us.
And so we ran up a lot of hours and newsprint for something that was always an also-ran.
And newsprint is expensive.
So we’re abandoning the experiment. But not the community.
Over the past year, or so, the paper has built a tremendous website.
Starting in January, our www.yukon-news.com will become our Monday edition, with weekend sports coverage, breaking news, a web-exclusive editorial cartoon, the occasional slideshow, web video and editorial and other neat stuff.
And, with the Monday print edition gone, our reporters can focus on producing more local news and investigative journalism for our Wednesday and Friday editions.
There are other improvements planned for 2010, so stay tuned.
Last week, the Yukon News published 248 pages of newsprint in a single week.
That’s hardly a losing proposition.
But, after 13 years, it’s time to stop beating our heads against that Monday wall. It’s tuckering us out.
Instead, we’ll focus on what we do best – Wednesday, Friday and the web.
We just don’t like Mondays.
Apparently, nobody does.