It’s an exciting time at Three Rivers Publishing, whether you work to put out our papers…or just read one. We launched a new product last week and have a host of changes in store for both our readers and customers over the new couple of months.
If you live in Bourbon or Leasburg, then you already know some of our big news. We officially began publishing another newspaper last week—the Bourbon Beacon. The new paper, which was about two years in the making, joins our other three area publications, the Cuba Free Press, Saint James Press and Steelville Star-Crawford Mirror.
The Beacon will primarily be covering Bourbon and Leasburg, but will also carry a host of Crawford County news. The new paper carries the same name of Bourbon’s last paper, which ceased publication in 1996.
We will be delivering the Bourbon Beacon to everyone in Bourbon and Leasburg in the mail for free throughout the rest of January. Starting with the February 7 edition, it will be mailed to subscribers only and available on newsstands in Bourbon, Cuba and Sullivan.
Along with the launch of a new newspaper, we are also excited to announce that we are now offering a full electronic edition (e-Edition) for each of our newspapers. We’ve been testing the e-Editions over the past few weeks and they are available now for you to check out at http://goo.gl/Lgkrx, which is a shortened url. (Be sure you use the tools on the bottom left of the page to help you navigate and zoom in to the pages.) These are complete newspapers, just like the one you are reading now, but readable on your computer.
These e-Editions are available for free right now, but they will ultimately be available as a paid subscription at our local subscription prices. We hope that our out-of-county subscribers will move to these e-Editions, which will allow them to see their entire newspaper the same day it comes out (perhaps even earlier), rather than having to wait days for it to be delivered in the mail. And if you are already a print subscriber, you will also be able to access the e-Editions at a very reduced rate. Full information on the e-Editions will be available on our website soon.
In conjunction with our e-Editions, we are also working on a new and expanded website that we will be launching within the next few weeks. This new website is being designed to provide expanded daily news coverage. It will, in essence, turn all our products from weekly to daily newspapers.
The new website, which will be fully customizable by the user, will be a change from our previous website philosophy in that it will include both free and premium (paid) content. Anyone who already subscribes to one of our papers will be able to get all the web content for as little as $1 per month.
The new website will be updated around the clock and will include local news as it happens. We will no longer be holding some stories from the website until they appear in the newspaper. As soon as we have a story, it will be ready for you to read on our website. When we go public with the new website, the entire site will be available for about a month without charge.
For our advertising customers we will also be offering some new services in the near future. With the help of some new accounting software, we will be able to offer both electronic billing and payment within the next few months. If you choose, we will be able to send you an electronic bill each month and you will be able to pay online. Customers will get complete details on how to set up e-payment options once that new system is available.
Finally, we have a bit of “bad” news we want to share. Beginning in February, we will have an increase for our single-copy newsstand prices. The single-copy weekly price for all of our papers will be increasing from 75 cents to $1. This will be the first time in more than 10 years that we have increased our newsstand prices, but we have found it necessary due to increased operating costs, including the costs of printing your paper each week.
We strongly believe good, local news coverage is worth paying for…and we think it’s worth at least as much as a bottle of water! And to help reduce the impact of our upcoming price increase, we are currently offering a great subscription special ($20 for a year, plus tax) that will bring you the paper for only 38 cents per week. We encourage you to use that offer this month to become a subscriber, renew your expiring subscription or extend your subscription.