For more than 100 years, the Washington Evening Journal, the Fairfield Ledger and the Mt. Pleasant News have served the communities that make up the Golden Triangle in southeast Iowa. On Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, the Golden Triangle Publications will launch a new regional newspaper, The Southeast Iowa Union.
The Southeast Iowa Union will feature news, information and advertising from all three of the current publications’ readership area and will be published four days a week — Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday beginning in August. On Thursdays, subscribers will continue to receive their traditional Journal, Ledger and News. Joining the new Southeast Iowa Union and the long-standing traditional brands allows readers in the area to continue receiving a newspaper five days a week.
“We have heard from a number of people in our communities who tell us they appreciate the fact that we have a five-day-per-week publication in cities of our size. Newspapers across the country have been eliminating publication days in order to cut costs. Although we are faced with many of the same challenges as other print publications, we have the advantage of having three markets so close together that we are able to leverage what we have and continue to publish five-days-per-week, albeit in a different format than we have all been used to,” said the Southeast Iowa Union Publisher Matt Bryant.
In addition to maintaining a daily publication, the Southeast Iowa Union will have a number of improved features including moving to a morning publication. The Southeast Iowa Union, as well as the three traditional newspapers, will be printed overnight and will then enter the postal stream, early enough for same-day delivery for most subscribers. Subscribers who were receiving their newspapers with same-day delivery will continue to do so through the mail. For many subscribers, they will receive it earlier than previously.
“Same day delivery of our newspapers has been a sticking point, and common complaint, for us for a long time. With the move to a morning paper it allows us to enter the mail stream and provide same-day-delivery to many of our customers that were not previously given that opportunity,” continued Bryant.
The Southeast Iowa Union will boast a news team of eight professional journalists, which includes two sports reporters, making it one of the largest newsrooms in the area.
“We are extremely excited to launch The Union next month,” said Karyn Spory, who will transition from her current role of overseeing the Washington and Mt. Pleasant news teams to becoming the Managing Editor of the Southeast Iowa Union as well as the Washington Journal, Fairfield Ledger and Mt. Pleasant News. “I believe The Union will give us a great opportunity to do some amazing storytelling.”
The Southeast Iowa Union will be included in the cost of a subscription to the Washington Evening Journal, Fairfield Ledger or Mt. Pleasant News. Expiration dates of current subscriptions will be unaffected. Letters have been sent to current subscribers further explaining the transition; however, if there are questions, readers are encouraged to call or stop by any of the current offices, which will remain open and fully staffed.
“While we want to give our readers a regional look at the news happening in southeast Iowa, we also want to make sure we never lose sight of our purpose, to provide excellent community journalism,” added Spory.