YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – For 78 years, the Youngstown Catholic Diocese has kept its parishioners informed via The Catholic Exponent newspaper. But times have changed. Newspapers aren’t what they used to be, which is why The Catholic Exponent will cease publication, and a new way of keeping parishioners informed will begin.

Justin Huyck, with the Youngstown Catholic Diocese, this afternoon had the history of The Catholic Exponent laid out in the newspaper offices. The first issue of January 7, 1944; a mercy lift to Biafra in 1969; the 1992 Mother’s Day issue and the special exponents for each Bishop. But come the end of February, The Catholic Exponent will cease publication.

“The current exponent reaches a little under 19,000 subscribers. That’s about one-third of our registered parishioners,” Huyck said. “As we move forward, we want to make sure we are reaching all our parishioners.”

The Catholic Exponent will be replaced by what will be called The Catholic Echo, which will include a magazine sent to every registered parishioner and published 10 times a year, a multi-media website, along with a strong social media presence.

“It’s a new adventure,” said Monsignor John Zuraw.

Monsignor Zuraw grew up with The Catholic Exponent, but he’s not sad to see it go.

“Because we change, and just as The Vindicator changes and other newspapers, we too need to meet the times,” he said.

Dr. Adam Earnheardt. a professor of communication at Youngstown State University, said he wasn’t surprised The Catholic Exponent is closing, or that it’s changing the methods used to transmit information.

“So imagine the Catholic Diocese in Youngstown on TikTok. I mean, I love that,” Earnheardt said. “You take traditionally the funds you would to make that print publication and put those into digital form and then you can build your audience and actually reach more people.”

“We live in a time where we want to keep out print presence but then make it more digital,” Huyck said.

The Catholic Echo website will launch early next year, featuring news, televised Masses, podcasts and stories from the magazine. There will also be an emailed newsletter and the digital offerings will also be available via social media.