Mainstreet Daily News is expanding on Wednesday, adding a weekly print newspaper to its stable of news delivery options.
Established in 2020, the news organization has been publishing exclusively online at its website and through two email-based newsletters.
Mainstreet still considers itself a digital-first publication and will continue to publish and break news on the website, J.C. Derrick, Mainstreet’s publisher said in a telephone interview.
But the printed weekly paper, which will highlight the previous week’s top stories, will provide another way for readers to access the organization’s most important news stories as well as give small businesses an additional way to reach local audiences.
“We want to be the go-to source of news and information in North Central Florida and to accomplish that goal we need to have a print component,” Derrick said.
Diane Kortus, the former owner and publisher of The Laker/Lutz News in the suburban Tampa area, has been consulting on the Mainstreet print launch and said in an email interview that adding the weekly newspaper will be a benefit to the community.
“A local news website with a weekly print edition is the best way to deliver local news because it gives people a choice of how to have their local news delivered,” Kortus said.
Under Kortus, The Laker/Lutz News expanded its circulation to 47,399, and in 2021, the Florida Press Association named it the state’s best weekly newspaper in its largest circulation category. The online/offline versions offer different options for readers, she said.
“People who prefer a print edition like the traditional format and the ability to cut out stories and ads that are pertinent to their family,” Kortus said. “Digital readers like the daily updates and news story postings. Many readers enjoy both formats.”
Kortus said it is not just readers who benefit from marrying a print option with an online news organization. Small businesses and local advertisers especially like print advertising options because it’s more effective in generating new customers and sales leads than digital ads.
Derrick said Mainstreet is part of a trend of young, digital-first news organizations expanding their offerings to have a print component.
“From Politico to Axios to Community Impact in Texas, there’s a growing awareness that to better serve their audiences and advertisers, news organizations need a mix of print and digital,” Derrick said.
Like the website and newsletter, Mainstreet’s print version will remain free. Initially, Gainesville residents in the 32605 zip code will get it delivered to their doorstep, but Derrick said as the paper edition gets established, he hopes to expand the doorstep distribution.
For people who don’t live in the paper’s initial delivery zone, dozens of racks and news boxes will provide free copies throughout Alachua County. Up-to-date pick-up locations will be available on the Mainstreet website.
People also can subscribe to get the newspaper mailed to them each week. While the paper is free, a $3 per issue charge covers processing and mailing costs.