Friday, September 26, 2008

Montana weeklies merge

The Valley Irrigator in Newell, Mont.; the Belle Fourche Post and Belle Fourche Bee in Belle Fourche, Mont., will merge, publishing Wednesdays as the Butte County Post starting Oct. 22. Previously, the Bee published on on Saturdays, the Post and Irrigator published on Wednesdays. The reason behind the merger:

“As economic conditions continue to deteriorate resulting in reduced advertising spending and coupled with unprecedented increases in fuel and newsprint costs, it is critical that we reorganize the publishing processes of our weekly newspapers in the Northern Hills communities,” said Brad Slater, publisher of the Rapid City Journal which owns and operates the Newell and Belle Fourche newspapers.

Offices in Newell and Belle Fourche will stay open, and officials say delivery will not change. No word on staff changes or layoffs. (Moving one publication from Saturday to combine it with two others on Wednesday though? You'd think something would be changing in that configuration.)

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