Times will be sent by mail starting Monday
The Watertown Daily Times will take on a new delivery method next week as it transitions from carrier and motor route delivery to the United State Postal Service.
In the long history of the Daily Times, now dating back nearly 125 years, the paper has been delivered by newspaper carriers and adult motor route drivers, but that system is no longer viable, according to Kevin Clifford, general manager.
“This transition should have minimal, if any effect on our valuable subscribers, and in fact, most will receive their paper earlier in the day than in the past, depending on the individual postal service routes,” Clifford said.
Under the new plan, which goes into effect with the Monday edition, the Daily Times will be sent electronically to the printing plant in Janesville late in the evening the day prior to publication. It will be printed and then distributed to all area post offices for delivery to customers that next day. For most people the paper will arrive at their homes earlier in the day than in the past.
“The switch to mail delivery has resulted in changes to our news department deadlines but we’re confident we can deliver our quality product in an even more timely fashion than in the past,” Managing Editor Tom Schultz said.
The change will be a bit different in that the newspaper will arrive with all the other mail each day and not by a carrier, but the service and time of delivery will be improved for the majority of the subscribers.
“The change does mean we will be saying goodbye to some of our most loyal independent contractors that have delivered the Daily Times to your doorstep since the paper’s inception, but at the same time market conditions have dictated this change,” Clifford said.
In recent years it has become increasingly difficult to find carriers and motor route drivers to deliver the 6,000 copies of the paper each day. That has left the paper with over a dozen routes not being filled at any given time. That in turn meant full-time employees of the paper have been assigned to deliver the papers, an increased workload that simply was no longer feasible on an ongoing basis.
“While it has been a difficult decision to change the delivery method, we are confident it will mean a better system for our readers and that’s the most important thing,” Clifford added. In recent times delivery of the newspaper has been compromised by the lack of regular delivery people and with this new service the delivery will be more consistent and reliable.
“We have many dedicated carriers and motor route drivers and we will miss them. Still, the change has become necessary because of changing market and economic decisions that have left so many routes vacant for extended periods of time,” Schultz added.
“These delivery people have been an exceptional part of our newspaper operation and it’s a sad decision. Still, it’s one that had to be made to keep our delivery standards for all customers to a level they have come to expect,” he added.
Many community newspapers, similar to the Daily Times, have made this change and it has been widely successful to both the customers and the newspaper. The change is expected to be completed flawlessly.
Persons with questions about the delivery change are asked to contact the Watertown Daily Times at 920-261-4949.