The Daily News will change its business model in response to the historical effect COVID-19 is having on the local, state and national economies and the newspaper industry, company officials announced Friday.

On April 4, The Daily News will begin a five-day-a-week publishing schedule with an expanded weekend edition and a new focus on digital news coverage and features, company leaders said.

Print editions of The Daily News, the state’s oldest daily, will be distributed to subscribers and single-copy readers Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The larger weekend edition will appear Saturdays. Coast Monthly, the newspaper’s glossy magazine, will be delivered in the larger weekend editions.

The Daily News will continue to publish local news daily through its digital edition,

“Like most businesses in our community, we did not anticipate having to make such changes before COVID-19 arrived and dramatically disrupted our lives,” said Leonard Woolsey, publisher of The Daily News and president of Southern Newspapers.

“The Daily News is much like any other small business,” Woolsey said. “Our business model relies on revenues generated from local advertising and subscriptions.”

About 70 percent of the newspaper’s revenue comes from the advertising of primarily local businesses; the balance is from subscriptions and other products.

“A good community newspaper’s health is generally a direct reflection of a local economy,” Woolsey said.

“Unfortunately, this is not business as usual for so many of our local advertisers in this community – and by direct relationship, certainly not for us either.”

The decision to change print frequency did not come easily for the newspaper.

“We made this decisive change to our operating model to be able to navigate through this punishing economic tunnel,” Woolsey said. “Doing nothing is not an option. We intend to serve this community for the long-term.”

The announcement comes at a time when the U.S. newspaper industry, which already was facing headwinds, is being especially hard hit by the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and response to that.

Publishers and newspaper companies across the nation are taking similar steps to cut costs and increase efficiency as they work to develop new sources of revenue and continue to serve their readers in a time of global crisis, Woolsey said.

The new production schedule will allow The Daily News to cut newsprint expenses and help it preserve employees, he said.

“Generating quality local news is neither free nor inexpensive,” Woolsey said. “Our employees get paid like any others and enjoy good benefits. They live and shop locally and are vital members of our communities.

“We want to take whatever steps we reasonably can to keep them on the job and serving our readers.”

The Daily News was recently named the best local newspaper and best newspaper website and Coast Monthly was named best magazine by the Texas Press Association.

The Daily News is the oldest newspaper in Texas, founded in 1842. The newspaper is locally managed and independently owned and operated by Texas-based Southern Newspapers.

“The Daily News has changed before over the course of its 178 years,” Editor Michael A. Smith said.

“It has been a weekly at times and published several days a week at times. It has been a morning paper at times and an afternoon paper at times. It was among the pioneers of digital journalism, adopting that technology in the early 1990s.

“One thing that has not changed through all of that is its dedication to quality. That won’t change now either.”

The newspaper’s full name, The Galveston County Daily News, which dates to the 1980s, also will not change, officials said.

“We are not going anywhere,” Woolsey said.

“And with the help of our subscribers and local advertisers, we will continue to deliver the best local journalism for Galveston County both online and in print.”

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(12) comments

Paul Novak

Thank you for your continued efforts.

michaelsmith Staff
Michael A. Smith

Thank you for your support.

Bailey Jones

I enjoy the GDCN more than any other newspaper I've ever read, with the possible exception of my college newspaper. The digital version is perfect for me, and I love it.

Gary Scoggin

That would have been Tech’s University Daily back when Jay Rosser was the editor, right?

Bailey Jones

Yesssss..... it would. And I was the editor of our dorm paper, The Wells Street Journal. An ancient typewriter and press on letters. Good times. We got to be Fearless Forecasters once by threatening violence against the editorial staff. I think I may still have that copy of the University Daily in my box of ancient things. Apparently they've changed the name to the The Daily Toreador for some reason.

Carlos Ponce

"The Toreador" was the student newspaper of Texas Technological College in Lubbock, Texas from 1925 to 1966. "Toreador" was selected to reflect the Spanish architectural style of campus buildings and it was also the unofficial name of the football team. The football team had the mascot "Matadors" from 1923 to 1936 then it was replaced by "The Red Raiders" in 1937.

The first issue of "The Toreador" appeared on October 3, 1925 with the explanation:

"It is well known, of course, that in the favorite sport of Spain and Old Mexico, the 'toreador' is an assistant to the 'matador,' or bull fighter—an aggravation you might say. So when the name Matador was suggested in keeping with the Spanish architecture and design of the college buildings, nothing seemed more appropriate as a name for the student publication an The Toreador. And we might add that it is our intention to have the name retain its full meaning, for we expect it to be one of the strongest supporters of the Tech Matadors. Therefore when The Toreador announces that the Matadors are ready to 'kill,' you may depend upon it." — The Toreador Vol. 1, No. 1

On September 20, 1966, the name was changed to "The University Daily" to reflect the change in size format from tabloid to broadsheet. A few years later in 1969 Texas Technological College changed its name to Texas Tech University.

On the 80th anniversary of the paper in 2005, the name of the paper was changed to "The Daily Toreador" to reflect the original name.

So Bailey, reason for the name change was tradition.

Nick Saum

Anything to preserve an ongoing business in these uncertain times. Just curious if digital editions will be published on Sunday / Monday?

KevinMCox Staff
Kevin M. Cox

Nick, it depends on what specifically you mean by "digital editions." We will still be publishing new articles online seven days per week as we always have. If you are referring to the e-Edition (print replica flip book), then no, that will only be produced on days we print the physical newspaper.

Chris Allen

So will our accounts be adjusted monetarily?

Terri Abraham

A friend asked me that when I mentioned missing the newspaper yesyerday. I hadn't thought of it, but it did make me wonder.

LeonardWoolsey Staff
Leonard Woolsey

Chris, thank you for asking. The majority of costs for our newspaper are the people we employ - the newsprint comparatively small. And to keep local people employed and working for the community - and The Daily News operating - the subscription rate will not change. We are evolving in light of people's behaviors, and the new business world COVID-19 is creating. We will continue to deliver news to you seven days a week. Your continued subscription price plays an essential role in keeping local people employed. Your subscription includes a print newspaper delivered to your home, full access to our website, newsletters, Coast Monthly, free searches of our historical archives, and breaking news notifications when critical news occurs potentially impacting your life. Thank you for your understanding and support of our employees and the local journalism they bring to the community. - LW

Bailey Jones

If news was priced according to its value, the cost would go up during times like these, not down.

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