The Brainerd Dispatch will continue producing news and advertising editions six days per week, but with a new format — shifting from a six-day print newspaper schedule to two print edition days per week starting July 15.

The Dispatch will publish a midweek print edition Wednesdays and a weekend edition delivered Saturdays. The Dispatch will also create e-edition newspapers Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The first day without a Dispatch printed edition will be Thursday, July 16.

Forum Communications, the parent company for the Dispatch and Echo Journal weekly newspaper, recently announced a reduction in publication days for other newspapers in the company — including Fargo, North Dakota, Duluth and Willmar. Reducing print publishing dates is an industry trend that is accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s a big adjustment for our longtime newspaper readers, but reducing the printing days for our newspapers is a sign of the changing times,” said Dispatch publisher Pete Mohs. “Personally, I have been reading a daily newspaper for almost 50 years. It’s my routine every morning before work, but now I will read those pages on my iPad or computer four days a week.”

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This is a big change not only for the Dispatch staff, but for the community since the Dispatch has been a daily printed newspaper since 1883.

Rod Swanson makes some adjustments to the press as a section of the paper is printed Friday, June 12, at the Brainerd Dispatch. The newspaper announced it will reduce its printed editions to two days a week, while continuing to produce e-editions six days a week. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch
Rod Swanson makes some adjustments to the press as a section of the paper is printed Friday, June 12, at the Brainerd Dispatch. The newspaper announced it will reduce its printed editions to two days a week, while continuing to produce e-editions six days a week. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Matt Erickson, Dispatch editor, stressed a reduction in print days will not mean a reduction in the news the paper covers. Reporters and photographers will still be working seven days a week, delivering stories, photos and videos for the website and e-edition.

“Our news and sports staff remain as committed as ever to reporting the news and informing the residents of the Brainerd lakes area of what’s happening in their communities,” Erickson said. “The readers of our printed newspaper are very loyal and faithful readers. I would ask that they stay with us as we’ll still be prioritizing the news that matters to them, just in a different way.”

The new Wednesday and Saturday print editions will be filled with all the news, features, sports and advertising that our print readers value.

Mohs added the Dispatch staff will support customers making the transition to the digital version of the Dispatch.

A section of the Brainerd paper is printed Friday, June 12, at the Brainerd Dispatch. The newspaper announced it will reduce its printed editions to two days a week, while continuing to produce e-editions six days a week. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch
A section of the Brainerd paper is printed Friday, June 12, at the Brainerd Dispatch. The newspaper announced it will reduce its printed editions to two days a week, while continuing to produce e-editions six days a week. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

“Our circulation team does a great job with customer service, and explaining the details of our digital edition,” he said. “We want to help with this transition. It’s critical that we continue covering the local news six days a week between our print and digital editions.”

Also, as part of this change, the Echo Journal weekly newspaper will be delivered one day earlier — on Wednesdays. The Echoland Shopper will continue to be delivered Fridays.

Readers are encouraged to create a Brainerd Dispatch account, and activate the digital account that comes with their print subscription. You can do so by going to brainerddispatch.com/activate. Once activated, members can pull up the e-paper pages in a similar format to the newsprint editions. The Dispatch staff is happy to help with this service. The Dispatch circulation department will be available to answer questions after 8 a.m. Monday, June 15. Call 218-855-5897 or email memberservices@brainerddispatch.com.