Oregon-based Country Media Inc. purchased The Pilot, as well as the Del Norte Triplicate in Crescent City, out of bankruptcy on July 1. Now, four months later, The Pilot’s subscribers will see changes in how and when it’s delivered.

Beginning Nov. 12, the twice-weekly newspaper serving Brookings and Gold Beach will arrive in the mailboxes rather than on subscribers’ doorsteps.

“We’re changing our delivery system, from adult carriers to the U.S. Postal Service, primarily because of legislation passed recently by the State of California,” said The Pilot’s publisher and co-owner, Carol Hungerford.

“Bob Berkowitz, a member of the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors, summarized why we probably would need to make this change in a recent Triplicate guest opinion.”

Wrote Berkowitz: “(Assembly Bill) 5, by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales of San Diego, would treat newspaper carriers as employees rather than independent contractors. As employees, they would get employee benefits like health care, retirement, sick leave, etc., benefits that are extremely costly to their employer.

“It’s no secret that thousands of newspapers have gone bankrupt, or just ceased publishing, because they could no longer absorb their increased costs. Let’s face it, we almost lost The Triplicate.

“If this bill passes and is signed by the governor, it could mean the end of many more newspapers.” AB 5 indeed was passed and signed into law.

“While this California legislation won’t directly affect Oregon’s newspapers,” said Hungerford, “The Pilot and The Triplicate share the same centralized delivery system, so any changes for one newspaper have to apply to both of them.”

Hungerford said The Pilot will be arriving by mail sometime in the afternoon, rather than on the doorstep first thing in the morning. So, to ensure subscribers don’t get their news later than before, Country Media is changing The Pilot’s delivery days from Wednesday/Saturday, now to Tuesday/Friday.

“For instance,” said Hungerford, “if you’re used to checking The Pilot the first thing in the morning on Saturday to see what will be going on that weekend, you’ll now get that information a day earlier on Friday afternoon.”

That change in publishing days will begin on Tuesday, Nov. 12, the same day that postal delivery begins.

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