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Maui News cuts back

Updated: 
October 24, 2017 - 12:05am

The Maui News is going back to afternoon home delivery for many newspaper subscribers and will cease producing a Sunday paper.

The move was made to cut costs and preserve staff, according to Joe Bradley, the newspaper’s publisher. He declined to say how many staff or newspaper carriers will be affected by the change. He announced the plan in a note to readers in Friday’s edition of the paper.

The change is scheduled to take effect Nov. 13 and will end home delivery by newspaper carriers and instead use the U.S. Postal Service to deliver papers to subscribers.

The newspaper will continue to be published online at 2 a.m. and will still be available in news racks and stores in the early morning. Home subscribers, however, won’t have their papers delivered until later.

Because the postal serv­ice doesn’t deliver mail on Sundays, the Maui News will expand Saturday’s edition into what it calls a weekend edition with all the features traditionally found on Sunday.

Delivering newspapers to households by mail is not common in the industry, though at least a couple of mainland newspapers have adopted the practice in recent years.

Bradley acknowledged that the change is significant for readers. But he noted the shift is a return to afternoon delivery that was once common for Hawaii newspapers in the plantation era.

The Maui News, located in Wailuku, switched from afternoon publication to morning publication in 2000 when the paper was bought by West Virginia-­based Ogden Newspapers, according to Bradley. At that time, a Saturday edition was added, increasing publication to seven days a week.

The Maui News dates to 1900 and most recently had an audited average circulation of 15,565 for its Sunday paper and 13,775 daily. These figures, from the Alliance for Audited Media, were for 24 months and ended March 31. These most recent circulation figures were about 24 percent lower than they were in 2012, according to unaudited figures Maui News submitted to the Audit Bureau of Circulation for six months ended March 31, 2012.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the state’s largest newspaper, competes with the Maui News on home delivery on the Valley Isle.

The Star-Advertiser is owned by Oahu Publications Inc., which also owns the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, West Hawaii Today and The Garden Island on Kauai.

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