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New Hattiesburg newspaper launching on Thursday, Oct. 3

Hattiesburg residents will have a brand-new source for community news and sports delivered weekly to their door when The Hattiesburg Post launches Oct. 3.

The Post, a sister publication to The Lamar Times, The Petal News and Signature Magazine will be delivered each Thursday and will focus exclusively on the Hattiesburg community and its residents.

Publisher David Gustafson said the launch of The Post is the result of several years of planning and numerous discussions with community leaders about the need for a traditional community newspaper.

“We’ve listened to the concerns and have decided to act,” he said. “Newspapers have long played an important role in communities like Hattiesburg. Our readers in Lamar County and Petal will attest to our commitment to providing fair coverage of events that matter to them the most. We take our jobs very seriously and readers will be able to see that each week in our finished product.”

David Breland, former government reporter for The Hattiesburg American, will serve as news editor of The Post as well as its sister publications, The Lamar Times and The Petal News.

“David lives and breathes community newspapers,” said Gustafson. “He brings with him a wealth of information about the Hattiesburg area and we’re proud to have him as a part of our team.”

Breland is joined by an award-winning editorial staff that includes Gustafson, longtime Managing Editor Beth Bunch, veteran reporter Dana Gower, and Sports Editor Josh Mlot, as well as a group of other writers and photographers who will contribute to the print and online products. Collectively, the editorial staff of five has nearly 90 years of community newspaper experience.

Each week, The Post will include a main news section that incorporates community-level coverage of local government, schools, and businesses, as well as area events and non-profit organizations. The weekly sports section, PineBelt SPORTS, previously honored by the Mississippi Press Association as the best in its class, will include full coverage of all area schools including Hattiesburg, Presbyterian Christian School, and Sacred Heart Catholic School. A third section featuring arts and entertainment, food, church news, and a comprehensive calendar of events will also be included.

Gustafson said an aggresive sampling plan has been put in place in which more than 100,000 free copies of the newspaper will be mailed to Hattiesburg residents in the weeks and months ahead.

“I believe the residents of Hattiesburg deserve to have a quality newspaper,” said Gustafson. “There are plenty of exciting things happening in the Hub City these days and we want to use The Post as a vehicle to promote this great community. I'm confident people will like what they see."

With century-old roots in the communities they serve, the Hattiesburg-based newspapers have been owned by Mississippi-owned Emmerich Newspapers since 2003. The company is led by Wyatt Emmerich, whose family-owned newspaper group has roots in 26 Mississippi communities, including the nearby communities of Laurel, Columbia and Magee.

“In the last 18 months, we have started or acquired three newspapers,” Emmerich said. “We believe people will pay for unique content, and we know advertisers value the local niche venue a good community newspaper provides. It’s all about connecting with readers and a community.”

Since 2009, The Lamar Times, The Petal News, and Signature Magazine have been honored with more than 50 first place awards at the Mississippi Press Association’s annual Better Newspaper Contests including the coveted “Newspaper of the Year” and “Photo of the Year “ awards.

"The outlook for newspapers in Mississippi and across the nation is very bright,” said Layne Bruce, executive director of the Mississippi Press Association. “In fact, there are more newspapers in print today in our state than prior to the start of the great recession. Mississippians count on their newspapers and we're proud to congratulate the folks of The Hattiesburg Post on their launch."

As an owner, Emmerich believes newspapers are a vital part of any community.

“Our staff lives and works in the communities we serve, so we know firsthand the impact and readership of our local papers,” Emmerich said. “Advertising is crucial to business success, yet purchasing advertising has become increasingly confusing. We offer a simple, targeted, affordable, respectable vehicle through which local businesses can advertise. That’s why it works as a business for us, it’s a partnership to deliver informative, original content you cannot find anywhere else.”

Existing subscribers of The Lamar Times and The Petal News will continue to receive their local newspapers, but will also receive The Post each week bundled with their newspaper for no extra cost. Single copies of The Hattiesburg Post will be available at more than 50 different news racks and retail locations throughout Hattiesburg, Petal, and Lamar County.

In addition to the traditional print product, a weekly eEdition will be available for subscribers to browse at HubCitySPOKES.com. Annual mail subscriptions are available for just $30. Click here to sign up today.

For more information about The Hattiesburg Post, visit www.HubCitySPOKES.com