The Sanford Herald will combine its Saturday and Sunday papers into one “weekend edition” and will do away with delivery drivers — instead relying on the Postal service to deliver papers on the same day — Publisher Jeff Ayers announced today.

The changes will take place beginning Jan. 7.

According to Ayers, The Herald has struggled to find and maintain delivery drivers, citing low unemployment levels in the area. “Finding help has become a challenge,” he wrote, “and finding newspaper carriers to provide the level of service we expect has become impossible.”

Instead, The Herald will place postal labels on its newspapers and deliver them directly to area post offices, “arriving early enough in the morning to enable the postal carriers to deliver that day’s edition … the same day.”

One effect the new delivery system will have is the elimination of a Sunday newspaper. Ayers said The Herald will combine the Saturday and Sunday edition instead, and that issue will be delivered on Saturdays. That edition will continue to have comics, circulars and other Sunday paper features.

Under the new structure, The Herald will go from six papers a week to five (The Herald does not deliver on Mondays). Subscribers will also receive their paper whenever they usually receive their mail, instead of early in the morning.

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