Rising postal costs have forced changes to the distribution of the Verona Observer, one of the two weekly newspapers that serve Verona. The paper, which is published by the New Jersey Hills company of Bernardsville, will no longer be mailed to every home in Verona. Instead, the Verona Observer will deliver newspapers in bulk to area businesses, where shoppers can pick them up. The paper will remain free and will still be published weekly.
Paul Brown, who founded the Verona Observer and remains its editor, says the decision was “mostly one of economics”. “Postal cost are increasing and sadly, the service doesn’t get any better,” she said by e-mail. The change will also affect the Cedar Grove Observer, but not New Jersey Hills’ other properties. The company also publishes papers in Bernardsville, Chatham, Florham Park, Hanover and 10 other titles.
Brown is sanguine about the changes. “Unfettered by mailing restrictions and cost, we can actually get more papers on the street,” she added. The Observers will now come out on Wednesday instead of Thursday.
Rising postage and paper costs, combined with declining readership, have forced changes to many newspapers around the United States. Advance Communications has turned what were daily newspapers in New Orleans, Alabama, Michigan and into papers that publish only three days a week. Advance, which also owns The Star Ledger in Newark, will soon cut the frequency of papers in Harrisburg and Syracuse as well.