Chieftain goes weekly

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El Defensor Chieftain and its sister paper, the Valencia County News-Bulletin, will soon be moving to a once-a-week publishing cycle. The new weekly publication day will be Thursday.

The threat of losing Saturday mail due to insolvency of the United States Postal Service, some cost savings and more emphasis on digital offerings are contributing factors to the timing of this move.

The effective start dates will be Thursday, March 21, for the Chieftain and Thursday, April 4, for the News-Bulletin.

“In most cases, advertisers were buying one edition per week and getting a shelf life of three days,” said Dave Puddu, publisher of both newspapers. “Now, they will get seven days’ shelf life for the same rate. We will not be raising our advertising rates.”

Both newspapers will continue mail subscriptions, he said.

“We will also embark on more opportunities online and mobile,” the publisher said. “Our yearly subscription rates will remain the same.”

Public notices, preprints and obituaries will not be impacted by this move. Both newspapers will also be offering more special sections throughout the year.

“We will continue to do what no one else does — provide unique, local content that’s fair, accurate, objective, timely and complete to our readers who depend on us to stay informed and engaged,” Puddu said. “To do this, we need the support of our advertisers and subscribers.”

In the meantime, the staff at the Chieftain is planning a redesign of the newspaper, editor Elva K. Österreich said. The Chieftain will accommodating more breaking news updates on the newspaper’s website, www.dchieftain.com, as well as pursue in-depth versions of stories to post online.

“The Chieftain has been through many changes over the past 147 years and will embrace this one by continuing to deliver the community’s news, events and milestones as it has always done,” Österreich said.

Desiree Herndon, El Defensor Chieftain advertising representative, said the newspaper is looking forward to adding more to the core product through special editions and features that readers and advertisers can participate in.

“Hopefully, it will make our community newspaper a thicker, more enjoyable newspaper,” Herndon said. “We’ve added several items to our yearly calendar, such as spring sports, fall sports and winter sports previews; a parenting edition; readers’ choice and a year in review.

“Many of our subscribers and advertisers tell us how important it is to have El Defensor Chieftain in our market, and we sure appreciate their support — it’s crucial in times like these.”