Hanover paper to change New, undisclosed format is planned

September 20, 1992|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

WESTMINSTER -- The Hanover, Pa. Evening Sun Countywide edition will cease to exist in its current format in early October.

"We're not leaving the market," said Evening Sun publisher Richard Heilman, responding to rumors that the paper would close its Carroll bureau. "But like all new publications, we're not really ready to bare our souls about what we're doing."

The nearly 10-year-old publication, distributed for free each Wednesday to most county residents, has appeared as an advertising shopper, as a tabloid-sized newspaper and in its current broadsheet format.

Economic factors, combined with a large number of weekly papers in Carroll, motivated the decision, Mr. Heilman said from his Pennsylvania office.

"I think basically there's a lot of duplication in that market," he said, noting that the Carroll County Times is a "strong daily publication" and that The Sun is planning to expand its coverage.

"If you stopped five people on the street and held up each of the weekly publications, they probably couldn't tell you who published them," Mr. Heilman said. "We just kind of figured there were too many people doing the same thing."

Maryland circulation for his newspaper, which once was the dominant daily newspaper in the county, is concentrated in the northern section of Carroll, Heilman said.

"It's primarily people who gravitate toward Hanover for shopping and that sort of thing," he said.

Circulation in that region has remained steady for the past few years, and overall circulation has risen about 4 percent from 1989 to 1992, Mr. Heilman said. "We're not shifting resources," he said. "We feel we're adequately geared in Pennsylvania. We're just doing something different in Maryland."

Two of the four current editorial positions have been eliminated in preparation for the new format, Mr. Heilman said. Those employees will be offered free-lance jobs and will be among the first to be considered for future job openings.

Company officials are confident. "We've already distributed a prototype to a handful of advertisers and gotten a strong positive reaction to what we're looking at," Mr. Heilman said.

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