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  • Last modified 20 days ago (Oct. 3, 2019)

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Salina Journal stops delivery in city

Staff writer

As of this week, the Salina Journal will no longer land on the front porches of Marion subscribers’ houses.

Stephen Wade, senior group publisher for GateHouse Media, the company that owns the Journal, denied anything was changing with the Journal’s circulation, but subscribers received letters last week notifying them that as of this week, their papers will be mailed to them.

Cathy Martin, who disbursed the Journal in Marion for 20 years, said she started getting calls from customers as soon as those letters started arriving.

“I’ve got about 20 who are going to drop it,” she said.

At one time, the Journal had between 150 and 200 Marion subscribers, Martin said.

“Now we’re down to 80,” she said.

Martin feels sorry for customers who are being given the option of getting their newspapers in the mail or subscribing to an online version.

“It’s kind of sad because there’s a lot of older people and they like to hold the paper in their hands,” she said.

Although the change will mean loss of a part-time job, she believes it will affect Journal subscribers more.

“To me, it impacts the whole town, not just one person,” she said. “The tradition is going away.”

Martin started delivering newspapers after an on-the-job injury several years ago left her unable to work full-time. She’s had paper routes for several newspapers, including papers in Newton, Hutchinson, Wichita, and Salina.

“Salina has always been the best company to work for, since a family operated it — until it was bought by GateHouse Media,” Martin said.

Martin said she noticed a lot of change at the Journal since GateHouse Media purchased newspapers formerly owned by the Harris Group in 2016. Although employees were told nothing would change, she saw things change quickly.

“They came in and changed everything within weeks,” Martin said. “They started clearing out the offices.”

Pages were designed in Texas instead of Salina, steep staff cuts were made, and recently the printing operation was moved to Hutchinson News, another GateHouse Media newspaper.

The Journal’s website now lists a photographer, two reporters, and two sports reporters as their news staff.

Martin said she could tell right away that the paper route in Marion would be discontinued.

Last modified Oct. 3, 2019

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