'Steamboat Pilot' sets sail for Sunday


— Three big changes await the Steamboat Pilot at the end of this month.

First, the publication day of the newspaper will move from Wednesday to Sunday. The last Wednesday Pilot will be published Jan. 17, and the first Sunday edition will come out Jan. 28.

Second, the new Sunday newspaper will be home delivered, starting Jan. 28, to most subscribers throughout the county.

And third, the Pilot won't be just the Pilot anymore. Instead, the new Steamboat Pilot & Today Sunday will be bigger and better than ever, the editor said. The name is a combination of the two local newspapers the Steamboat Pilot and Steamboat Today which are owned by the same company and have been printed together since 1989.

"The Pilot has enjoyed tremendous reader and advertiser support over the years," said Publisher Suzanne Schlicht. "We could not have moved forward without that support."

After conducting two surveys in the past two years, the leadership of the Steamboat Pilot & Today determined most readers and customers like the idea of a local Sunday paper. And they really like the idea of having that paper delivered to their homes.

That's why the Pilot is making the move it is.

"By moving the Pilot to Sunday, we'll give our readers seven days of continuous local news coverage," Editor Mark Louden said. "And on top of that, we'll give them a bigger, better paper by enhancing the content of the Pilot in a number of ways."

The focus of the paper will continue to be in-depth local news and sports features. But in the Steamboat Pilot & Today Sunday, wire and syndication services also will provide readers with top-level news and sports coverage from around the region and around the world.

Among the new features will be an "Outdoors" page offering local stories and features, as well as columns devoted to a variety of recreational activities. Throughout the rest of the paper, readers can choose from Associated Press news and sports stories, columnists from The New York Times and other major newspapers, color comics and a Sunday magazine.

"With this move, we expect readership to grow dramatically," Schlicht said. "Many people have more leisure time on Sunday mornings and will have more time to enjoy the in-depth columns and features.

"The Sunday paper will offer advertisers even more opportunity to reach potential customers."

As with most Sunday papers, the cost of the Steamboat Pilot & Today will go up, from 50 cents to $1. However, subscribers will still be able to buy the paper for less than 50 cents per copy.

To fit in all the new content, the Steamboat Pilot & Today Sunday had to grow by roughly 25 percent. In addition to the three current sections News, Business and Sports a fourth Sunday Style section has been added. In it, readers will find lighter features such as wedding announcements, a crossword puzzle and horoscope and a Martha Stewart column.

To prepare for the move to Sunday, the Steamboat Pilot & Today added eight full-time positions, including new reporters and editing staff.

"After getting input from our readers, we went to work to put together the best community newspaper we could and be able to deliver it to homes on Sunday," Louden said. "I expect our readers will be pleased with the investments we've made to broaden and enhance our content.

"The Steamboat Pilot & Today Sunday is a newspaper I'm proud of and a paper I think our readers will genuinely enjoy."


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