The Cortez Journal will move to its new publishing schedule this week with the newspaper now hitting the streets on Tuesdays and Fridays.
The other publication change for Montezuma County newspapers affects The Dolores Star, which will move from Friday to Thursday. The Mancos Times will continue to publish on Wednesdays.
The drop in Journal frequency and other operational changes for the three Montezuma County newspapers are based on the corporate goals of their parent company, Ballantine Communications, Inc., and on the expected loss of Saturday mail delivery.
Customer subscriptions were extended to reflect the reduced frequency of the Journal, and the price of renewals and the price of new subscriptions will be lowered.
Employee layoffs at the Montezuma County newspapers, announced in mid-March, took effect on Friday.
One visible change will be the absence of the television listings. They were the subject of many complaints because the national listings service was challenged to keep up with the area's numerous cable, satellite and television translator providers.
Design duties for all BCI publications will be centralized in a design hub at the Durango Herald. Advertising inquiries for the three Montezuma County newspapers will remain the same with representatives available at the Journal office, which will continue to be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Ballantine Communications have made several major decisions since the first of the year.
In late February, Richard Ballantine announced that he would be stepping down as company CEO and Herald publisher, a position he's held for 30 years. The company hopes to have a new CEO in place in May.
Shortly after the first of the year, Ballantine Communications also implemented a price increase for all its publications in Montezuma and LaPlata counties.
Longtime Journal publisher Suzy Meyer said the goal moving forward is to continue to provide readers with quality local content.
The Journal's reputation as a quality newspaper for its editorial and advertising content was again reinforced at the annual Colorado Press Association in February. The Journal was recognized with the general excellence award as well as sweeping all the sweepstakes awards in editorial, advertising, and photo and design. The Journal has won the general excellence award in its circulation category five of the last six years.
Dolores Star editor Shannon Livick will now also be in charge of the Mancos Times.