Central Pa., these are not your father’s ‘daily’ newspapers

The Patriot-News and Hanover Evening Sun print only three days per week, among many changes to the nine newpapers we looked at.
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Lancaster’s LNP soon will be printed in Cumberland County; the Lebanon Daily News is printed in York.

Even after working in media relations in central Pennsylvania for 15-plus years – on top of nearly eight years as a York Daily Record reporter – I struggle to keep up on all of the changes affecting the news industry, particularly our region’s local newspapers.

The notion of a “daily” print newspaper has been turned on its head: The Patriot-News in Harrisburg and the Hanover Evening Sun publish hard-copy editions only three days per week. (They publish digitally seven days per week.)

Adding another layer of uncertainty for four area newspapers: The possible sale of New York City-based Digital First Media, which owns MediaOnePA, the parent company of the Chambersburg Public Opinion, Lebanon Daily News, York Daily Record and Hanover Evening Sun. Here’s a good take on the possible outcomes for Digital First Media.

For my own edification and I hope to the interest of others, I have compiled some of the changes undergone by the nine daily newspapers in seven central and eastern Pennsylvania counties.

Reading Eagle
Print schedule: Seven days, mornings.
In 2009, the family-owned Reading Eagle Co. completed a 77,000-square-foot expansion that accommodated a new printing press. The Eagle paper expanded in 2011 with the launch of its Business Weekly section.

Carlisle Sentinel
Print schedule: Seven days, mornings.
The Sentinel is owned by Lee Enterprises, which is based in Davenport, Iowa, and publishes 46 daily newspapers. In 2012, the Sentinel launched a news-sharing partnership with abc27 in Harrisburg.

Print schedule: Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, mornings.
The Patriot-News moved its editorial and business offices out of Harrisburg in 2010. The paper adopted its thrice-weekly schedule in January 2013.

Chambersburg Public Opinion
Print schedule: Seven days, mornings.
In March 2012, the Public Opinion shut down its printing plant, outsourcing that function to sister company York Newspaper Co.

Print schedule: Seven days, mornings.
The Steinman family’s ownership dates to 1866, but its Lancaster Newspapers properties have experienced plenty of instability since 2009. That year, the Intelligencer Journal and Lancaster New Era newspapers combined into one morning edition published Monday through Saturday, complementing the sister Sunday News.
In 2014, the company and its papers rebranded as LNP with the tagline, “Always Lancaster.” Well, almost always. Just last week, LNP announced that it was outsourcing printing to PA Media Group’s Cumberland County plant, where the Patriot-News is printed.

Lebanon Daily News
Print schedule: Seven days, afternoon on weekdays and mornings on weekends.
The Daily News has a Lebanon-based editorial staff, but the paper is designed and printed by sister company York Newspaper Co. — publisher of the York Daily Record/Sunday News and the York Dispatch.

Hanover Evening Sun
Print schedule: Tuesday and Thursday evenings, Sunday morning.
Announced in May 2013, the switch to its three times-per-week format was effective Jan. 1, 2014.

York Daily Record/Sunday News
Print schedule: Monday through Sunday, mornings.
Its business operations are shared with the York Dispatch under a joint operating agreement that began in 1990, but the two papers have separate editorial staffs. Here’s a good, succinct overview of the Daily Record/Dispatch rivalry.

York Dispatch
Print schedule: Monday through Friday, mornings.
Dave Martens has owned the Dispatch since January 2014. Founded as The Evening Dispatch in 1876, it became a morning paper on March 3, 2014

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