Alaska’s most-read newspaper, the Anchorage Daily News, to cut back printing to two days a week

Alaska’s most widely read newspaper, the Anchorage Daily News, is cutting its print schedule to two days a week.

The ADN’s print edition will be available on Sundays and Wednesdays starting the week of July 15, according to an announcement Monday.

The move will allow the ADN to focus on its digital products, where it reaches the vast majority of its audience, president and owner Ryan Binkley said. Only about 7% of readers actually read the printed paper, he said.

“It got to a point where there just weren’t enough of them to sustain it, and it just didn’t make sense,” Binkley said. “You know, it takes a lot of time and energy to produce a daily news product that is custom, and bespoke, and manufactured the day of and hand-delivered to your home. And at a certain point, that’s time, energy that we can use, better use, if it’s directed toward the platforms that our customers are on.”

According to the announcement, the change will result in the loss of three positions, all related to distributing the printed paper.

The Anchorage Daily News filed for bankruptcy in 2017, under its previous owner, Alice Rogoff, and the Binkley family bought it out of bankruptcy court.

The shift to printing two days a week is not a signal that the newspaper is struggling again financially, Binkley said.

“I mean, if anything, this is a move that will strengthen the paper, allowing us to focus on our customers and the platforms they prefer. The paper’s still healthy, still profitable,” he said.

Still, as a daily print reader himself, Binkley said he understands why fans of printed newspapers might be glum to hear about the change.

“It’s hard to think of, sort of, too many touchstones of American life for the last century that are as iconic as a daily newspaper in your hands, or on your doorstep or with a cup of coffee in the morning,” he said. “So it’s not a decision that we took lightly.”

The Daily News has printed six days a week since 2017, when it eliminated its Saturday edition.

After it shifts to printing two days a week, the ADN will continue to offer daily news content at seven days a week and its e-edition, a digital replica of the print edition, each day on a Sunday-to-Friday schedule, according to the announcement.

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Casey Grove is host of Alaska News Nightly, a general assignment reporter and an editor at Alaska Public Media. Reach him Read more about Caseyhere

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