Owner: Catholic Diocese of Toledo
Effective: Aug. 29, 2009
2 part-time employees were eliminated, and a full-time position was cut to part-time. The 40-page monthly tabloid will become a 4-page bi-weekly broadsheet.
Source: Toledo Blade
Article published August 29, 2009
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR
The Catholic Chronicle has undergone an extreme makeover, both in its print and online editions.
The official publication of the Toledo Catholic Diocese has been scaled down from a 40-page tabloid format printed once a month to a four-page broadsheet published biweekly.
The online edition, catholicchronicle.org, also has been redesigned and includes daily updates, stories and columns not included in the print edition, and multimedia presentations.
Two part-time positions were eliminated and one full-time position was reduced to part-time, said Angela Kessler, the Catholic Chronicle’s editor. She said the dollar figure of the savings has not yet been determined.
“We started looking at this around the beginning of the year as the rest of the industry, especially the newspaper industry, is going through all kinds of changes,” Ms. Kessler said. “What we were looking at is increasing postage prices, increasing newsprint prices, and also seeing the trend of more people getting their news online than in print.”
To cut costs on newsprint, the diocese has reduced the size of its print edition.
And as a means of countering postage rate increases, the diocese has stopped mailing the Chronicle to 100,000 households with registered parishioners. The paper instead will be available for free at parishes, hospitals, and schools throughout the 19-county diocese.
About 50,000 copies of the Chronicle will be printed on the second and fourth Sunday each month. An eight-page tabloid special section will be included once a month based on themes such as schools, vocations, or Respect for Life month.
A subscription to have the paper mailed to the home is available for $20 a year. About 600 people have signed up for a subscription, Ms. Kessler said.
“We wanted to keep the print product for those who either can’t or don’t go online,” she said. “A certain segment of our audience does not want to do that or can’t do that. And northwest Ohio has a lot of rural areas where there is limited access to the Internet.”
Some editorial content previously included in the print version is available only online now, including the latest columns by the Rev. Herb Weber and Christopher West.
And the Aug. 23 print edition’s story on the Rev. Bertrand Shenk, at age 97 the oldest priest in the Toledo diocese, is complemented by a video of the interview on the Web site.
The print edition is printed by a firm in Hastings, Mich., but Ms. Kessler said the diocese is looking to rebid the contract with the goal of finding a printer within the diocese.
“With our redesigned paper and what we’re doing on the Web, we are better able now to reach Catholics in the way they’re seeking news, especially with our Web site,” she said.
One thing it offers that can’t be found in mainstream media is news coverage from a Catholic point of view, she said.
“And we can go beyond the confines of our 19-county diocese because we do get people from all over the world visiting our site. It’s a great evangelization tool.”
- David Yonke