2/7/2013 8:00:00 AM Sentinel reacts to USPS notice
The Sentinel report
The Rochester Sentinel, delivered six days a week by the U.S. Postal Service, would join the ranks of other five-day-a-week dailies if Saturday mail delivery is abandoned, says Publisher Sarah O. Wilson.
USPS said Wednesday it will do away with Saturday delivery in August. It is not clear if Congress will let that happen.
"Most likely, this will force us to reduce our publication days to Monday through Friday," said Wilson. "Moving back to carrier delivery on Saturdays only is not feasible.
"Our subscription rates would be adjusted accordingly."
Wilson said that The Sentinel's Friday edition would become a weekend edition and include the weekly TV guide and the traditional Saturday preprinted advertising inserts.
The Sentinel has been delivered to subscribers through the mail since May 21, 2008.
Wilson noted that several other Hoosier dailies publish five days a week - notably Sullivan and Pierceton - and have done so for many years. USA Today also is printed five days a week.
In his reaction to the Postal Service announcement, National Newspaper Association President Merle Brananczyk, publisher of the Mountain Mail, Salida, Colo., said., "It is regrettable the inaction of Congress to deal with the unfair requirements it imposed upon the Postal Service in 2006 has led USPS to make such a discriminatory choice. NNA disagrees with both the policy and the legal reasoning behind it. We hope to still work with the Postal Service on a plan to ensure timely delivery of newspapers."
Also, Hoosier State Press Association executive director and general counsel Steve Key said, "The Postal Service's announcement today may not be the final word on the subject. Sometimes what unifies Congress is something defying them. There still may be some legal action on the matter."
"We are confident our news and advertising will continue to play an important role in Fulton County life," Wilson said. "People have relied on The Sentinel for local information since 1858 and that won't change."
Wilson said she expects The Sentinel to strengthen its digital presence, beyond its website and electronic edition, including its Facebook and Twitter posts.
"We're quite confident in our e-edition and website," she said. "We're exploring ways to make us even stronger online.
"Meanwhile, I am eager to learn what our subscribers and readers think about this possible change," she said. Contact her at 224-5331 or firstname.lastname@example.org.