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Herald and Mail set to merge

September 26, 2007|By JULIE E. GREENE

After 134 years of publishing two weekday papers, The Herald-Mail Co. is merging its morning and afternoon papers into one - The Herald-Mail - on Monday, Oct. 1.

The merger will allow the company to reallocate resources from the afternoon paper to the company's Web sites and other digital initiatives, Publisher John League announced in July.

The company pledges to carry in the merged edition every feature now found in either The Morning Herald or The Daily Mail.

The company's history dates back to 1828, when The Daily Mail began publishing. Then came The Morning Herald, in 1873.

The two Hagerstown newspapers merged in 1920 and The Herald-Mail Co. published both papers, plus combined Saturday and Sunday editions called The Herald-Mail.

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The Daily Mail, an afternoon paper, has circulated mainly in Washington County, which is the focus of most of its local stories.

The Morning Herald, a morning paper, has covered Washington County in Maryland; Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties in West Virginia; and Franklin and Fulton counties in Pennsylvania.

The Herald-Mail circulates throughout the Tri-State area.

As of March 31, 2007, The Daily Mail's audited circulation was 11,696, and The Morning Herald's circulation was 23,508.

The audited circulation numbers are the average circulation during a six-month period that ended March 31.

The Herald-Mail's circulation was 33,707 on Saturdays and 38,213 on Sundays.

On the Web

An interactive Web site at www.herald-mail.com with news, sports, Lifestyle stories, event listings and much more received 6.8 million page views and 38,900 visitor sessions in July. That includes www.hmloop.com, the Web site for the weekend entertainment section, Loop.

The Web site features videos about local events and news, which can be purchased.

The site also has a Photo Store, where photographs taken by Herald-Mail photographers can be bought.

Also new in the past year on the Web site are Shop the Tristate, an online shopping portal; and AutoFetch, for browsing local car dealers' inventories of new and used vehicles.

The company also has started Web sites such as Animal Sounds, at www.herald-mail.com/groups/animal_sounds, where local people can share information with people of similar interests.

The newspaper podcasts a summary of the day's top stories through audio files at www.antpod.com. Other podcasts include Sports Hound, featuring a daily roundup of scores and sports news from the Tri-State-area, and The Rowland Rant by columnist Tim Rowland.

There's also Alan's Yak, which explores the inner workings of the teenage mind; and Loop, which highlights events for the coming weekend.

Special projects

The newspaper prints special publications during the year and has two magazines - Elegant Living and H.E.R. LocaL.

The Herald-Mail Co. has published six books since 2004.

They include three books of historical Washington County pictures, two books saluting the county's veterans and a book showcasing the work of the newspaper's staff photographers.

The Herald-Mail Co. is owned by Schurz Communications of South Bend, Ind., which also owns Antietam Cable Television in Hagerstown.

The Herald-Mail Co. is based at 100 Summit Ave. in downtown Hagerstown and has news reporting bureaus in Waynesboro (717-762-5868) and Chambersburg (717-264-3518) in Pennsylvania, and in Martinsburg (304-263-0879) and Charles Town (304-725-6885) in West Virginia.

The company's Hagerstown office can be reached at 301-733-5131 or, toll-free within the Tri-State area, at 1-800-626-6397.

Business hours at the main office are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

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