LUMBERTON — Robeson County residents who like their local news with their morning coffee, eggs, grits and biscuit will be pleased to know that they can have all that beginning on Tuesday.
The Robesonian newspaper, which has been an afternoon publication since it was established in 1870, will become a morning newspaper that day, meaning subscribers will be able to find it in their yards Tuesdays through Sundays at or before 8 a.m., and that it will also be on sale in newspaper racks and retail establishments about that time as well.
“We are doing this because we are convinced that is what our readers want,” said Denise Ward, the publisher of The Robesonian. “This was something that was about to happen in the fall of 2016, but was delayed because of Hurricane Matthew and the disruption it brought to our newspaper. But we are ready now.”
The most-affected departments will be News, Circulation and Operations.
The News Department will operate off of different deadlines so that the print edition can be picked up around midnight or shortly thereafter for timely delivery. The newspaper has been a morning edition on Saturdays and Sundays.
“We know what to do because we have done it on weekends,” said Donnie Douglas, the editor of the paper since 1996. “Our goal will be to deliver essentially the same newspaper — no, an enhanced version as we are working to generate more local news — and to have it to our readers essentially six to eight hours earlier.”
Douglas said news that happens in the early morning hours, after publication, will be published in a timely manner at robesonian.com as well as the next day’s print edition.
“The website will continue to allow us to be a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week source of news,” Douglas said. “That will be largely unaffected.”
Douglas said that submission deadlines for such things as obituaries, church news, wedding announcements, club news, etc., will largely remain the same, but anyone with questions is welcome to call him at 910-416-5649.
Subscribers of the newspaper don’t have to do anything, except be prepared to read the news earlier in the day. Anyone who would like to subscribe to the newspaper should call Fred Bradley, director of Circulation, at 910-416-4383 or drop by the newly renovated office at 2175 Roberts Ave.
“We are excited about this new venture,” Ward said. “We believe with the new ownership, a refurbished building, some new initiatives in the newsroom and other key departments, that there is a fresh energy at The Robesonian, one that will help us build on our position as the best place to find out what is happening in Robeson County.”