The change stems from the postal service notifying the Weekly that it no longer has enough personnel to handle the processing of the paper early Friday mornings for same-day delivery. The USPS staff informed the Weekly the paper must be delivered to its loading dock on Thursday morning in order to arrive in homes on Friday, which will require the printing be done on Wednesday night.
"It is impossible to publish a viable community newspaper on Friday with a Wednesday morning editorial deadline," Weekly publisher Bill Johnson said, "so we immediately began exploring other options."
Over the next few weeks, delivery will be switched out of the mail and managed by California Delivery, a Redwood City-based company that handles deliveries for many daily and weekly newspapers and other publications throughout the Bay Area.
Among the benefits of the new delivery service is real-time GPS monitoring of deliveries, by which the progress and route of delivery personnel can be tracked by supervisors and the Weekly's director of circulation. Custom software also issues audio alerts to drivers when they approach an address for which a vacation stop or non-delivery has been requested.
"The Weekly has always been delivered through the mail in Palo Alto, and we have enjoyed an excellent relationship with the post office," Johnson said. "We are sorry that cutbacks at the post office have led to these service reductions and the need for us to find an alternative, but we are very confident that readers will continue to receive their papers reliably and, in many cases, earlier in the day than is the case now."
Readers may report delivery problems to Palo Alto Weekly's director of circulation, Bob Lampkin, at 650-223-6557 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.