Dear readers,

You might’ve read in this newspaper recently that we will soon be publishing the print edition twice per week. We’re sure this was not the news many of our subscribers wanted to read, and it may be difficult to find the bright side.

But allow us to offer at least a few things to look forward to with the transition.

First and foremost, it will give our reporters and editors more time to engage with the community. There is a constant crunch within our regional hub publishing two five-day papers (The Mexico Ledger and Moberly Monitor-Index) and a three-day paper (Boonville Daily News) every week. With fewer daily publications, there will be more time for columns and editorials, interacting with readers and leaders, and producing impact journalism.

We’ll be expanding our print product as well, adding lifestyle, food and entertainment content that has proven popular on our websites, while bringing more local flavor to the section. We will increase our focus on local entertainment events like the productions at area theaters, like all the shows and events at the Presser Arts Center.

We’re also thinking about how to create more localized food content like writing about fun places for family outings, participating in school events, reviewing the prized dishes at regional restaurants and producing a reoccurring piece dedicated to reader-submitted family recipes.

We will have an expanded sports section in each edition to continue shining the brightest spotlight we can on the mid-Missouri athletic community.

But going forward, we will be driven by an online-first approach.

High school football coverage, for example, will be posted online before we turn the lights out Friday night. It will be one click away. So, too, will updates on social media. The good news for you if you’re a print subscriber: You’ve already got full online access.

Our sports staff will devote time and energy into finding compelling narratives for feature stories, Q&As with athletes and coaches, previews and much more.

And you will start to notice consistent Mizzou football and basketball coverage as part of a GateHouse Missouri partnership with the Columbia Daily Tribune, including a Tiger Extra page on Friday each week there is a MU football game this fall.

For news and sports alike, everything that appears in print will also be online. However, some coverage will be online-only. And we will be focusing on a lot more multimedia content, like Facebook Live interviews with community leaders, videos of area events and more.

For those who are disappointed with the changes in our print frequency, we ask that you give the new system a chance and see if you appreciate what we are able to offer. You may not always have a fresh paper to peruse over with your morning cup of coffee, but when you do, it will include more of the content that we think our readers will value the most — continuing to bring you the hard news you need, along with more fun, local flavor to enjoy your community.

Allen Fennewald is a regional news editor for GateHouse Missouri. He can be reached at afennewald@gatehousemedia.com. Kevin Graeler is a sports editor for GateHouse Missouri. He can be reached at kgraeler@columbiatribune.com.