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For a few years, people in the newspaper industry have predicted that the digital revolution will eventually prompt daily newspapers to abandon the expensive proposition of printing every day. Now one company, the Newhouse family's Advance Publications, has taken the plunge with its dailies in New Orleans and Alabama.

The Times-Picayune, the Mobile Press-Register, The Birmingham News and The Huntsville Times will cut back their print editions to three days per week (Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) this fall, the papers announced today. The move will make New Orleans, which has lost much population since Hurricane Katrina hit it in 2005, the largest U.S. city without a daily newspaper. The industry convention is that a daily publishes at least four times a week.

The Times-Picayune said a new business entity called NOLA Media Group, reflecting the paper's online address of nola.com, “will significantly increase its online news-gathering efforts 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” but with a smaller staff. For coverage from thePoynter Institute, click here.

Advance used virtually the same language in announcing that its newAlabama Media Group will “dramatically expand its news-gathering efforts around the clock, seven days a week, while offering enhanced printed newspapers on a schedule of three days a week.” For more from Poynter, go here.
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