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Allegheny

Post-Gazette to cut print on Tuesdays and Saturdays

Bob Bauder
| Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, 5:57 p.m.
The offices of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the North Shore on March 20, 2017.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The offices of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the North Shore on March 20, 2017.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette will stop publishing a print edition on Tuesdays and Saturdays, according to a letter the paper sent to funeral directors this week.

The letter cited rising costs of production for the cuts.

Pittsburgh’s last daily newspaper announced Sunday in a front page story written by Executive Editor David M. Shribman that it would print only five days a week starting Aug. 25. The story did not specify what days would be cut.

The paper will continue to publish daily on its website and other digital delivery platforms.

Calls Tuesday to Shribman and Block Communications, the Toledo, Ohio-based company that owns the Post-Gazette, were not returned. Mike Fuoco, president of the Post-Gazette’s editorial employee union, declined to comment.

“As business leaders, we are sure you are aware that sometimes it is necessary to address rising costs you may incur in order to maintain a viable service to the community,” the letter to funeral home directors stated. The letter was signed by two Post-Gazette advertising managers. “The Post-Gazette is not immune to these challenges as recent changes in tariffs on newsprint have dramatically raised our cost of production.

“In response to rising costs we will continue to publish digital editions seven days a week, but effective August 25, 2018, we will no longer publish a print version of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Saturdays or Tuesdays.”

Funeral directors contacted by the Tribune-Review said it was too early to say how they might deal with the cutback, but they noted that it would likely complicate the process of publishing death notices.

Kevin R. Dieterle, supervisor of the Readshaw Funeral Home in Carrick, said families and relatives of the dead are relying more now on social media and funeral home websites for information on visiting hours and funerals. He said about 20 percent of his clients decline a newspaper obituary.

“To be honest with you, people are not putting it in the paper like they used to,” he said. “It’s one day now instead of two and three days like it used to be years ago. I can’t give you a definite answer on how we might react to this until we see how this goes over the next few weeks. I just don’t see where it’s going to make that much of a difference at this point.”

The Post-Gazette in the letter said it would continue to publish electronic obituaries and death notices on Tuesdays, Saturdays and holidays at a flat rate of $75 per day. It’s also offering a 50 percent discount for a second weekday obituary published in the newspaper. The cost of its memorial plaque program remains at $35 as an optional purchase, but not as part of the obituary rate, according to the letter.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, bbauder@tribweb.com or via Twitter @bobbauder.

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