Sumter Item to premier Weekend Edition paper in August
In order to provide timely high school football results and same-day mail delivery for print subscribers, as well as to improve value for advertising customers, The Sumter Item will premier its new Weekend Edition paper beginning Saturday, Aug. 3.
"When we began thinking about this possibility, it became a no-brainer," Publisher Vince Johnson said. "It's better for our readers, better for our advertisers, better for our mail delivery customers. We're trying to create the best local news experience we can for our community in print and online, and this is certainly a step in that direction."
The Sumter Item Weekend Edition will be delivered on Saturday, complete with Friday night football coverage and all the regular articles, features, sale inserts and more that readers are accustomed to seeing in the Sunday paper.
"The post office doesn't deliver on Sunday, and so especially for our mail delivery customers in the more rural parts of our area, they currently aren't getting their Sunday edition until Monday," Johnson said. "I share their frustration with that, and we're going to change it so they get the Weekend Edition in the mail on Saturday."
The other major reason for the change is to create timely high school football coverage in the newspaper. "It's one of the complaints we hear about most," Johnson said, "and though results can be found on www.theitem.com on Friday nights, adding them to the print product is appealing. Our newsroom puts most of the paper together on Friday for the Sunday paper anyway, so having it come out on Saturday just makes sense."
"We're the main source of information on local high school football, and people really care about their football in the Sumter area," he said.
The Saturday-Sunday, or Weekend Edition, will be in local stores and newspaper racks across the region Saturday, Sunday and Monday of each week. Daily newspaper delivery will continue Tuesday through Friday, with The Sumter Item continuing to print a total of five days per week.
Theitem.com, which currently gets more than 150,000 unique visitors each month, will continue to be regularly updated daily throughout the week.
Readers can subscribe to both a print and digital subscription to The Sumter Item by calling (803) 774-1200 or by visiting www.theitem.com/subscribe. Website users can also sign up to receive a free daily Top Stories email at www.theitem.com/newsletter. Additional newsletter options are in the works, Johnson said.
The Sumter Item is one of the nation's oldest continuously family owned newspapers in the country and is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2019. Earlier this year, Editor and Publisher magazine named The Sumter Item one of America's "10 Newspapers That Do It Right."