Today is a day of reflection of what is truly important. Therefore, I want to take this day, Thanksgiving, to say thank you to our readers and advertisers. Thank you for reading The Meridian Star.

Thank you to our local, state and national governments, and to our first responders and military who work tirelessly, even on this holiday, to keep us safe and free to publish a newspaper.

Thank you to all the organizations that strive to make people’s lives better, whether through service in response to needs, or through the arts. We’re here to help your efforts.

It’s because of you we have a mission. A mission to inform you of the happenings in and around our communities, and keep you informed of events to come. We are YOUR local newspaper. We are YOUR Meridian Star. And Dave Bohrer and his staff do an awesome job of reporting your news every day in print and online at MeridianStar.com. We have been, and continue to be, hyper-local in our news gathering and intensely focused on Meridian and Lauderdale County, as well as neighboring communities in which we serve.

BILL ATKINSON: We believe in the pursuit of excellence

Bill Atkinson

It has been said that a great community has a great newspaper. A great newspaper has a great community. And we have a great community.

With that said, we are working to become even better! You may have noticed some improvements and changes going on with your Meridian Star.

And I will have to say, to improve, you must be willing to change. To borrow a quote from Tom Peters, “Excellent firms don't believe in excellence – only in constant improvement and constant change.” We want to be an excellent firm.

The first big announcement is we’re bringing back your Sunday Meridian Star. Yes, we’re moving the current Saturday delivery to a Sunday morning delivery beginning Dec. 8. This move will provide more up-to-date news coverages, improved sports coverages and up-to-date obituaries.

So if you get up on Saturday and your paper isn’t there, it will be the next morning. You can expect delivery of your Meridian Star’s on Tuesday through Friday and Sundays.

But don’t forget, we’re updating news and sports online every day – even on days when we're not preparing a print publication.

Effective Dec. 1, we are reducing your in-county subscription rates by 20 percent. This means you will receive more copies for less. Twelve-month subscriptions are reducing from $216 to $171 and monthly subscriptions from $18.99 to $15. We are also introducing a new 24-month subscription that will lower your annual cost to only $156. Current readers need not worry, your subscription periods will automatically extend with this rate change based on your current paid-in-advance balance.

We now offer only one subscription tier with 1, 3, 6, 12 and 24 month options and are moving to a full-week delivery. In other words, we have one local subscription, and that subscription includes delivery of your Meridian Star every print day and grants full access to news online at www.MeridianStar.com.

Digital only subscriptions will be offered outside Lauderdale County with the exception of extreme hard delivery points. Businesses will receive their Sunday edition with their Tuesday morning delivery.

We want to be as fresh as possible! What you find online may not necessarily be found in print and what you see in print will not necessarily be found online.

And to not miss out on anything news related, you’ll want to make sure you have full access to every product we have. All subscriptions grant our readers full access to our web products anywhere there’s an internet connection.

Now let’s talk display and classified AdMarket advertising. A few months ago, we reduced our display per column inch rates by 50 percent, from $23 per column inch to $11.50 per column inch.

We are now offering very attractive pickup rates for multiple weeks. We have also gone to color by the inch so small business advertiser can afford full color advertising.

For private party advertisers, we offer low rates to help you sell your unwanted items, turning your junk into cash. All single items priced under $100 we’ll run for free, four lines for one week.

Private party advertisers can place as many of these items as you wish with the same attributes as the first. If your item has not sold yet, simply call our reader services and we’ll renew it for you. We offer other great package rates as well as low cost yard sale ads.

Folks, keep reading us. You’ll continue to see changes in our packaging and new product introductions such as Timeless in Meridian. Timeless will publish its inaugural edition in February and will continue in alternate months to Meridian Home & Style.

This glossy magazine format will focus on readers 50 plus. Men and women over 50 are the fastest growing segment of the population and Timeless in Meridian is here to ensure their next years are full, happy and healthy. Advertisers hoping to reach this attractive and influential demographic can do so by running alongside features focused on fitness, finance, real estate, the home and more.

Meridian Home & Style will continue to offer articles about trends in fashion, personalities, home improvement, decoration, cooking, gardening, crafts and entertaining. Readers will be treated to information about how to make themselves and their homes more attractive and more presentable.

You’ll note we’re re-introducing the 393 concept to tie it back to Home & Style’s roots. 393 will be used to identify communities we feature within the 393 plus 2 zip codes.

We have a lot more changes coming, but you’ll just have to read to see them. Some will be subtle; some a little more dramatic. The Meridian Star is a multi-media firm publishing news in print, online and offers digital marketing solutions to our clients. Keep reading The Meridian Star, your oldest, most complete and in-depth daily news source in Meridian and Lauderdale County since 1898. Nothing else will compare.

Bill Atkinson is publisher of The Meridian Star. Email publisher@themeridianstar.com, phone 601-393-1551, extension 3202.

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