AS PRINT NEWSPAPERS pass into the frenetic oblivion of the internet — the Newark Star-Ledger is the latest large-circulation paper to radically downsize — the AVA is also poised to make fundamental changes, changes made necessary in our case by the collapse of the U.S. Post Office as a reliable delivery system, the loss of the many bookstores and news stands that we have always depended on for much of our sales and, of course, the abbreviation of the national attention span, especially in persons under the age of 60. Fewer people read 12 pages of 9-point type. Fewer people read much period, especially in print form, which is to say we're being rapidly dinosaured by electronic media.
THE FIRST WEEK IN MAY, out of state subscribers will be charged a hundred bucks a year. We can't help it. Postal rates continue to climb even as the Post Office fails to deliver our newspaper in a timely manner. We now pay more to get the paper to readers out of state than a $50 subscription price covers.
THE PAPER EDITION of the AVA will, as of May, be eight pages of Mendo-focused stuff. Online subscribers will still get the full 12 pages of content, plus additional news posted daily in the form of "Mendocino County Today." We're nowhere near death-rattle, but we've got to lower costs, especially the major expense of print and postage.
OF COURSE our eight-page paper will bring you more news and interesting information in one edition than all of the area newspapers and other media together manage in a month, and we will continue to be the excellent deal at $50 a year inside the confines of the Golden State and a buck per issue at the market and those valiant news stands and book stores still hanging on against the electronic onslaught.