GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - When Lisa Dorato and her husband get their Grand Rapids Press Wednesday, it'll be just about the 1,976th Wednesday Press that has landed on the doorstep of their Walker home over the course of more than three decades.
"For 38 years," Dorato told 24 Hour News 8.
But that paper will be among the last Wednesday deliveries -- along with deliveries on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays.
The Press, Kalamazoo Gazette and Muskegon Chronicle will deliver only on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning in February 2012, the papers announced Wednesday.
New three-day print-only subscriptions will cost $3.32 per week, according to the announcement, or roughly $13.28 per month. That's down from the current posted Press subscription rate of $16 per month.
"I think the older generation will really miss [getting a printed newspaper delivered daily] -- and I, in fact, even though we do have the Internet, I will miss it too," Dorato said.
Single editions will still be for sale seven days per week at stores and newspaper boxes. The changes also include an as-yet-unannounced number of job losses.
The moves come as the Booth Newspapers' news-gathering operations are set to come under the control of the newly-formed "digital-first" company dubbed MLive Media Group. The move is aimed at recognizing that people no longer get their news from a single platform, Publisher Dan Gaydou said.
Production and distribution of the papers will become part of the new Advance Central Services Michigan.
The Press, Gazette and Chronicle headquarters buildings will be sold, with workers moving to other office space in the downtown area of each community, Gaydou said.
In an interview with 24 Hour News 8, Gaydou said the papers are not abandoning print or print readers.
"I want to make sure our readers know our commitment to them," he said. "Because this story's going to be told in such a way that they don't necessarily believe that we have commitment to who we are as a print publisher. We're very committed to print and we're very concerned that the days we deliver are robust and meaningful."
The papers will be talking to readers about what they want in print, Gaydou said. A redesign is in the works for MLive.com , the website of the media group. It's set to coincide with the reduction of home delivery.
The publisher said the move is about recognizing that people do not get their news from a single platform.
Job cuts will be strategic to protect content, Gaydou said. Supervisory roles could be cut and the papers will have a central copy editing desk.
"We don't have numbers and I'll tell you why -- because we're giving layoff notices to more people than are actually going to be laid off. We're starting a brand-new company. We have brand-new jobs. We decided that we need to give people an opportunity to apply for those jobs."
The jobs will also be open to the public and posted online.
The papers' print operation is not a money loser, Gaydou said.
"We're not telling people that we're doing this because economic times have hit hard or because the bottom line isn't making its goals. We've been doing that," Gaydou said. "We're looking ahead and we're thinking about the future. It really is a step forward strategically."
But Dorato will miss finding the Press on her doorstep every day.
"And it's something that is another American fixture that's on its way out," she said. "And it's kind of sad to see that happen.
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