Holmes Bargain Hunter launching midweek edition

Holmes Bargain Hunter launching midweek edition

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For nearly 50 years, the Holmes Bargain Hunter has been delivered to homes throughout the area every week, bringing not just stories about the people and places of Holmes County, but also providing a way for businesses both small and large to speak to those same people.

Starting Wednesday, Sept. 21, readers will no longer have to wait for the weekend.

That’s when The Bargain Hunter’s new Midweek News Edition will make its debut. Every Wednesday the newest addition to AloNovus Corp’s family of publications will go out to residents in Holmes County.

“Over the years we’ve grown a lot and done a lot of new things outside of Holmes County, but this new midweek edition excites me because it’s right here in our own backyard,” said Michael Mast, AloNovus president. “This is one of the most profound moves we’ve made locally because it truly affects life in our hometown.”

The new midweek edition will be similar to the Saturday Bargain Hunter in that it will focus on what’s happening in Holmes County, but there will be differences — a slightly different look and more of an emphasis on news and other special content readers will be able to find inside the midweek’s pages such as a public record, land transfers and obituaries.

“This is exciting for us in a number of ways,” Holmes Bargain Hunter editor Mike Plant said. “From my perspective on the editorial side, the midweek edition offers us even more opportunities to serve our readers in a timely way.

“As an example, take high school football. Not only will we be able to provide coverage from the games that were just played, we’ll also be able to preview the game that is just a few days away. That’s just one of the many ways we will be able to make a difference.”

“It has always been a struggle to provide meaningful sports coverage with a weekend publication because so many events happen on the weekend, and by the time you are able to report on it, it’s old news,” Mast said. “Now, with the new midweek edition, we can report not just sports news, but all types of news in a more timely fashion. I think our readers are really going to appreciate that.”

The new midweek edition will offer the same advantages to advertisers.

“What this new edition offers advertisers is a choice, an option which may better accommodate and support major sales events and the arrival of inventory,” said Clint Alguire, director of sales and marketing at AloNovus.

“We’ve always prided ourselves on the long shelf life of The Bargain Hunter, and we don’t expect that to change for the Saturday edition,” Mast said. “But now our advertisers can speak to consumers twice as often. Plus they have the opportunity to do it surrounded by content with a stronger sense of urgency that may attract a different type of reader.”

In addition to The Bargain Hunter in Holmes County, AloNovus publishes nine other weekly papers: The Carrollton Free Press Standard, Coshocton County Beacon, Hartville News, Medina Weekly News, Wooster Weekly News and Bargain Hunters in Stark, Tuscarawas, Southern Tuscarawas and Wayne counties reaching nearly 140,000 homes each week.

That growth coincides with the rapid demise of daily newspapers, which have seen readership and circulation dwindle over the past decade or so as they pay less and less attention to their print product.

“I have known for quite some time that daily newspapers’ days were numbered — I just had no idea the business model would collapse so quickly,” Mast said. “As you can see from the page count of The Holmes Bargain Hunter, print is not dead, but the days of paying to read 48-hour-old news certainly are.

“With the decline of local news coverage in the daily newspapers and the demise of the Holmes County Shopper, our community, like so many others, has become stranded in a news desert, and we at AloNovus didn’t want to see that continue. This type of news is too important to life in our community to let it go by the wayside. I felt we had to do something, and based on our business model and what we know about our readers and advertisers, publishing a midweek edition with a specific bent toward harder news became the logical solution.”

Plant and writer Dave Mast will continue their roles with the midweek edition, along with contributions from regular writers and columnists readers are familiar with. A new addition to the staff is Chris Snow, who is coming to AloNovus from the Ashland Times-Gazette.

“For our readers, I’m thrilled to be able to offer this type of content that they have come to look for week in and week out but we’ve never covered in The Holmes Bargain Hunter because it doesn’t fit with the mission of the Saturday edition, and we don’t want to see that change,” Mast said.

Closing in on the 50th anniversary of The Holmes Bargain Hunter, it’s an exciting time with the launch of the new midweek edition.

“I know I speak for everyone at AloNovus when I say how grateful we are to be deeply loved and appreciated by our community,” Mast said. “We see this in the support we have received over nearly 50 years — and it’s as strong now as it’s ever been.

“We have always considered it a privilege and an honor to be welcomed into your homes every week, and with this new midweek edition, we take that responsibility even more seriously. We want to continue to earn and keep the public trust in our content and our reporting.”