On the other weekdays, the full edition will be available as e-publications on Netwerk24, the digital home of Media24’s Afrikaans publications.
Esmaré Weideman, CEO of Media24, says most of Media24’s newspapers are performing well, except in the Eastern Cape, where advertisers increasingly prefer the wider reach of the company’s strong portfolio of community newspapers.
According to Weideman, it is no longer sustainable to publish Die Burger with its low circulation in its current paper format and to distribute it across such a large region.
She says that there are no plans to stop publishing Die Burger in the Eastern Cape.
"Our connection with the region goes back eight decades to 1937, and we are determined to continue our presence – also in the interest of retaining high-quality Afrikaans journalism to the benefit of the province," says Weideman.
Die Burger in the Western Cape, published since 1915 and Media24’s longest running daily newspaper, is financially sound and not affected by the change in frequency.
Die Burger editor Willem Jordaan says although the change might not be an easy one for all the loyal readers in the Eastern Cape, it does come with a subscriber deal on a combined print and digital bundle that offers the best value for money in Afrikaans by far.
"A subscription to Die Burger costs R99 per month and includes access to 35 Afrikaans newspapers, as well as 11 Afrikaans magazines on Netwerk24," he says.
He adds, "The content in the Friday edition will also have a stronger regional focus than is currently the case. We are growing the news desk and coverage in the region, so from Friday, 22 June, the Friday print edition will include a solid new supplement called Naweek."
"It is important to remember that the other weekday editions will still be available – looking exactly the same as the paper format, including advertising – on a smartphone, tablet or computer. Our advertisers will still be able to reach our readers on a daily basis, with the thicker Friday edition offering new opportunities," he adds.
According to Weideman, the changes are in line with the company’s strategy to strengthen its position as Africa’s leading digital publisher while continuing to run a highly successful print media business.
"Globally, readers increasingly consume their news online and advertising spend is moving to digital. We therefore regularly review our portfolio of excellent print and digital brands," Weideman adds.
"The change in frequency of Die Burger in the Eastern Cape is required to ensure the continued existence of both Afrikaans news media and Die Burger as one of Media24’s strongest brands in the region," he says.
"As an innovative and responsible business, we continue to respond to consumer needs and preferences and to explore new print and digital opportunities that also offer value to our loyal existing and new advertising clients," he adds.
For R99 per month, subscribers in the Eastern Cape will receive a printed newspaper with the new supplement delivered on Fridays, digital copies of the weekday editions, digital copies of the four weekly community newspapers in the Eastern Cape (PE EXpress, UD EXpress, Kouga EXpress and the Mid-Karoo EXpress) and full access to 35 Afrikaans newspapers and 11 Afrikaans magazines on Netwerk24.
Current subscribers to the printed Saturday edition and with full access to Netwerk24 will, from Wednesday, 20 July, receive their printed newspaper (with the supplement) on Fridays.
For more information, visit www.media24.com or www.netwerk24.com.