Madison's afternoon newspaper is scaling back its print version, and ramping up its presence on the Internet, in what's believed to be the first such move to the web by a major daily. The Capital Times began publishing in 1917, and has been known from the start as "Wisconsin's Progressive Newspaper." That editorial direction won't change, but Cap Times editor Dave Zwiefel says changes in the media landscape can't be ignored. "You know, we could sit here and continue to do what we've been doing for the last ninety years," Zwiefel told WIBA Friday morning. However, he added, "I think the handwriting has been on the wall. Newspaper print circulation has been dropping, not only in Madison but all around the country."
The Cap Times , with a weekday circulation of just under 20,000, will end daily publication on April 25, in favor of a primarily Internet-based product. "We can step off in a new direction and into the future, to make sure that we stay here for a long, long time," Zwiefel said. The Cap Times will publish a Wednesday news and opinion edition and a Thursday arts, entertainment and culture section. Both will be delivered with the morning Wisconsin State Journal. The two papers share printing and distribution as Capital Newspapers. Zwiefel, who's been at the paper since 1961, will stay on as editor emeritus. Up to forty jobs will be cut at the Capital Times and Capital newspapers.