The Bangor Daily News will stop printing a Monday newspaper beginning March 6, becoming the final daily paper in Maine to make such a change as part of a national trend.
The newspaper will still be produced as a digital-only e-edition available to subscribers, but it will not roll off the presses in a cost-cutting measure announced to readers Monday.
“The savings we realize by eliminating one day of the printed paper will enable us to maintain our award-winning staff of journalists who provide you with timely and comprehensive news from around the state,” Todd Johnston, the BDN’s vice president of print operations, wrote in a notice. “Reporting news to you always has been and always will be our primary mission.”
Monday print editions have become a common casualty in the newspaper industry over the last few years. In Maine, the Portland Press Herald and its sister newspapers in Lewiston, Augusta and Waterville cut Monday print editions in early 2020. They now publish six days per week. The newspaper chain Gannett scaled back Saturday editions at 136 papers last year.
The BDN has never had a Sunday paper and publishes its largest print edition on Saturdays. The Penobscot Times, a weekly outlet owned by the BDN’s parent company, announced it would go digital-only earlier this month. Journalists still will be at work seven days a week and publish news online as normal.
The cost-cutting move comes on the heels of long-term turmoil in the newspaper industry, whose advertising and circulation revenue has fallen from a high of $49.4 billion in 2005 to an estimated $9.6 billion in 2020, according to News Media Alliance estimates.
The COVID-19 pandemic only worsened these economic problems. The cost of newsprint jumped an estimated 30 percent between 2020 and 2022, while gas prices and a wider labor shortage has made delivering the newspaper to remote corners of Maine more difficult.
The Monday e-edition looks the same as the printed paper, with numbered pages containing articles, photos, ads, comics and puzzles. Subscribers can access it here and those who want to subscribe can sign up here or by calling 207-990-8002.