In a strategic move to strengthen its core news brand, the Daily Herald announced today that it will consolidate content from three weekly newspapers it owns in south Utah County into the daily newspaper.
Today marks the final edition of the weekly Springville Herald, Spanish Fork Press and Nebo Reporter. Those titles are being discontinued as the Daily Herald expands its community coverage and brings all South County advertising into its daily print product.
"Rather than breaking up news and advertising across several papers, everything will be in one place," president and publisher Rona Rahlf said. "This will strengthen the local news identity of the Herald while simplifying our sales programs."
The Herald will publish South County news on a daily basis rather than a weekly cycle.
"Readers in the south will now see items from their communities throughout the entire week," said executive editor Randy Wright. "You won't have to wait seven days between editions."
"Delivery of news and other information has matured," he said. "With the Internet, we can provide news 24/7. The weekly model, which has served well in the past, now gives way to greater immediacy and more efficient delivery channels."
Most weekly subscribers already receive the Daily Herald. Of the total of about 4,000 subscribers in South County, all but 471 take the Herald. That redundancy, as well as brand fragmentation, were cited as reasons for discontinuing the weeklies.
Advertising in the Herald offers greater household reach for businesses than the weeklies because the paper spans all of Utah County, advertising director Sarah Ehrmantraut said. In fact, all but a handful of small advertisers already appear in some form in the daily newspaper.
"Local Utah County businesses want customers in their stores and using their services. Our South County products were offering a very limited audience to the businesses advertising in them," she said. "The new consolidation will help give businesses more access to the Daily Herald's ever-expanding audience, from print to mobile to web."
The Daily Herald purchased the Springville Herald for an undisclosed sum in 2003 from Martin Conover, whose family acquired the paper in 1936 from Scripps League, a former owner of the Daily Herald.
The purchase was part of a circulation-building effort beginning in 1999 by the Herald, then owned by Pulitzer Newspapers. The company first purchased several weekly titles in north Utah County and Orem, counting the additionalweekly circulation as part of its daily average, which is linked toadvertising rates.
In 2001 it acquired the Spanish Fork Press from J-Mart Publishing, owned by Lane Henderson. That paper has been in continuous publication since 1902.
The 2003 deal with Conover in South County included a weekly newspaper and free shopper's guide serving Sanpete County, as well as the Eureka Reporter.
Today's announcement applies only to the Herald's weekly publications in Utah County. The company will continue to publish The Pyramid and Pyramid Shopper in Sanpete County. The Eureka Reporter was discontinued earlier.
The Daily Herald consolidated publication of its weeklies in North Utah County and Orem in February 2009. The Herald has been in operation under various titles since 1873.
South County press releases and other news items should be submitted online at heraldextra.com/submit.