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Major Changes to Fort Wayne’s Oldest Newspaper

Written by: Communicator StaffSeptember 21, 2017

By: Ben Bailey

The News-Sentinel, Fort Wayne’s oldest newspaper, will halt production of its physical product, according to an Aug. 24 press release. The News-Sentinel will continue to be available online, and will also receive a few pages daily in The Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne’s morning newspaper.

The paper was originally named The Sentinel, and it was first published in 1833. In 1918, The Sentinel officially became The News-Sentinel. Throughout its history, The News-Sentinel has always been an afternoon paper, which, according to CEO of Fort Wayne Newspapers and Publisher of the News-Sentinel Michael Christman, was one of the key factors in the decision to bring an end to the News-Sentinel.

“In the industry, the afternoon paper is not as well received as the morning publication. It made sense to expand the coverage area of the News-Sentinel,” Christman said.

Thanks to a longstanding partnership between The News-Sentinel and The Journal Gazette, current subscribers will be offered a new subscription to The Journal Gazette, which will contain the select pages of content from The News-Sentinel.

Reception of the changes being made to The News-Sentinel has been mixed thus far. Multiple people have commented on the paper’s Facebook page and expressed concern or frustration that The News-Sentinel will not be on their doorstep every day.

Others have expressed fear that their jobs may be in jeopardy when the changes take place.

Christman added that some jobs will be lost due to this change, although “it’s too early to even make a rough estimate as to how many.”

Christman did, however, tell WANE that delivery positions are particularly at risk.

Beth Davis, who has been delivering papers for The News-Sentinel for 15 years, said she received the news through a digital news notification on her phone.

“I was shocked,” Davis said.

She is confident that she will lose her job due to these changes, but she hopes to be able to deliver more papers for The Journal Gazette.

Christman declined to say how many delivery drivers currently work for The News-Sentinel.

While no date has been given for when the changes will take place, Christman did say in an interview that more information will likely be made available as soon as the week of Sept. 25.

Christman seemed optimistic about the future of the publication, stating that he believes this is an excellent way to appeal to more readers.

“The key thing is, it’s a great opportunity for the expansion of the coverage area of The News-Sentinel’s voice; a pro business and conservative point of view,” Christman said.

Christman said the inclusion of some News-Sentinel content into the morning paper will reach 30,000 more daily readers.

The changes to The News-Sentinel’s physical production will also affect its online news publication. Instead of focusing on reporting the “who, what and where” of the news, the web version of The News-Sentinel will now focus on the “why and how.” Christman said these changes will allow the website to be “more in-depth with its reporting.”

To find out more about The News-Sentinel, visit its website at news-sentinel.com.