After the announcement on New Year's Day about our decision to partner with the United States Postal Service for same-day mail delivery and convert our publishing days to Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday beginning Feb. 4, readers have flooded our phone lines and social media feed with questions and concerns. I thought it would be worthwhile to take a few minutes to answer some of your questions.

Q. Will papers be delivered to post office boxes?

They will be delivered to post office boxes. Essentially, beginning Feb. 4, you can expect to find your Observer or Baker City Herald wherever you normally receive your mail.

Q. Will there be a price increase?

There will be no increase in your subscription price. In fact, there's more value-added benefits to being a subscriber than ever before. The Observer and Baker City Herald subscribers have full access to our website content and 24/7 availability of a convenient online e-edition subscription in addition to their print edition. In the coming weeks, we also will launch our free mobile news app for your Android or Apple phone or device, allowing you to access the latest news and headlines on the go.

Q. What should I do with my old newspaper box?

The Observer and Baker City Herald won't be picking up newspaper boxes, so how you'd like to handle disposing of it is entirely up to you. 

Q. Will this plan work?

I can assure you, it will. Conversion of newspaper delivery services from carrier to mail isn’t a new concept in our industry. The U.S. Postal Service delivers newspapers nationwide.

Q. How will holidays affect newspaper delivery?

There are eight postal holidays remaining in 2020. But five of those fall on Mondays and one on a Wednesday, days that going forward will not affect delivery. Two holidays, then, will affect delivery: Independence Day on Saturday, July 4, and Thanksgiving on Thursday, Nov. 26.

Even so, we will provide breaking news and other updates on digital products.

Q. Will I still get my paper in a timely manner?

I would expect that you would see improvements in the timeliness of your delivery and that our partnership with the post office will provide a more consistent delivery time.

Q. How is this "same day mail" when Monday's paper is going to be delivered on Tuesday?

This has been a question that's popped up frequently during the last few weeks. Your newspaper is going to be produced and delivered on the same day. You won't be receiving Monday's newspaper delivered with Tuesday's mail — it really will be Tuesday's newspaper delivered on Tuesday. The publication day swap gives us the opportunity to provide grocery ads on Tuesdays (when the sales begin) and Friday night high school sports scores in your Saturday newspaper. It also eliminates having to deal with federal holidays (that typically fall on Mondays) — days where the post office doesn't deliver. This schedule also allows for more breaking news opportunities.

Q. What day will the grocery ads be in the paper? TV Guide? Go Magazine?

Your grocery ads will be available in your Tuesday paper. Look for Go Magazine in your Thursday paper and our TV Guide on Saturdays.

Q. When will single copy be available?

For those of you who prefer to pick up a paper via rack or from one of our local dealers, you can expect to see The Observer and Baker City Herald available by 9 a.m. each publishing day — the perfect complement to your morning latte or danish (or chicken fried steak, if you love breakfast as much as I do).

Q. Who do I call if I don't get my paper? The Observer/Baker City Herald or the post office?

If you have any issues with your delivery or have billing questions, those will still be directed to the office staff at The Observer and Baker City Herald. Place a call and ask for circulation — they'll be happy to help.

Q. I get my mail at a post office box and check mail only a few times a week. What other options do I have for getting my news the same day?

As I addressed earlier, your newspaper subscription offers far more than just the print edition three days a week. Print subscriptions come with access to the online edition, full unlimited access to our website and a convenient, on-the-go mobile news app (coming soon). If you aren't taking full advantage of what your subscription to The Observer and Baker City Herald have to offer, call our office today and let us help you access these value-added perks.

Q. If I am out of town for a while, will the post office save my papers along with my other mail? Do I request this at the post office or at The Observer/Baker City Herald?

If you're planning to be away for an extended period of time, you'll want to contact the post office to have your mail held — they'll hold your newspaper, too, and then deliver when you return. Or, if you'd prefer to put a hold on your newspaper subscription and resume service when you return, you'll contact our office.

As we move closer to transition day, you might have more questions. Reach out and let us know — we're happy to answer them or address any concerns. My door is always open.

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Karrine Brogoitti is the publisher of the La Grande Observer.

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