The Pine Bluff Commercial printed its final Sunday edition Jan. 6 and begins a new era of mail delivery with Tuesday’s print edition.
The Sunday paper, in a continuing evolution through the digital age, gives way to a weekend edition that will be delivered to newsstands and subscribers on Saturdays. Starting this week, the Commercial’s subscribers will get five editions a week, all delivered in the mail Tuesdays through Saturdays.
In the midst of all that, Publisher Teresa “Tee” Hicks left the Commercial on Jan. 3 for a new job at The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City, which like the Commercial is owned by the GateHouse Media chain. Hicks had been publisher of the Commercial, as well as group publisher for several other GateHouse papers in Arkansas, since August 2017. She was the first African-American publisher for an Arkansas daily.
A new publisher will be announced soon, said Matt Guthrie, regional vice president for GateHouse’s Southwestern Region, who is serving in Hicks’ place for now.
Guthrie said home delivery of the Commercial was constrained by a contractor’s demand to tighten the paper’s delivery range. “It became obvious that we had to change,” he said, noting that the U.S. Postal Service had proven to be a good delivery partner in other GateHouse markets. “I will be on site for the foreseeable future to help with this transition,” he said in a statement to readers. “Please feel free to reach out to me at the office.”
Managing Editor John Worthen said Saturday edition will offer readers quicker high school football coverage next fall, and noted that the Commercial’s website will continue to offer breaking news around the clock.
“We are your best source for local news, bar none,” the editor said in a note to readers. “That commitment to local coverage will not change.”