May 29 is the last print edition of Putnam Review.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail launched Putnam Review as a sort of experiment two and a half years ago with the goal of providing better news coverage for Putnam County.
Unlike its predecessor, Metro Putnam, which was a weekly publication focusing on community news, we sought to make Putnam Review a standalone newspaper – while still being a companion publication to the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
The Metro Department produced Putnam Review with contributions from the Gazette-Mail newsroom and sports department. We added more news and features, an editorial page, classified ads, and a sports section that focused on Putnam County teams. Although it started out as a free product, we began the transition to convert it to a paid publication sold at stores, in vending machines and by subscription.
Initially, it met with success, with readers and businesses supporting the new publication. But today’s market for print can be tough, and that initial growth has not been sustained.
Also, along the way we became an HD Media company. HD Media already had a Putnam County product, the Putnam Herald, a free publication distributed through the postal service. The Putnam Herald will continue to be published.
“A lot of people put a lot of work into the Putnam Review, and I think it’s a great product,” said HD Media Publisher Jim Heady. “I live in Putnam County, and I’m always hearing positive things about Putnam Review, and the Putnam Herald, too. To keep from duplicating things, we are just going to produce one product. We are going to increase production of the Putnam Herald to cover all of Putnam County.”
Along with this, of course, the Charleston Gazette-Mail and Huntington Herald-Dispatch will continue their daily coverage of news and sports in Putnam County. Putnam County residents also will continue to receive Pulse, a weekly shopper mailed to post office boxes. Every issue of Pulse includes a calendar of community events, recipes and other features.
The Metro staff would like to thank all our contributors and advertising partners who supported Putnam Review. A special thanks goes to writers Susan Maslowski, Christian Deiss, Nick Brockman, Eric Douglas, and to photographer Ed Conner.
Finally, thanks to all our readers. Putnam County is an amazing place, and we are grateful to have had the opportunity to cover the county’s schools, churches, businesses and small towns. We encourage everyone to continue to support community journalism.