The Chattanooga Times Free Press is switching the paper’s print subscribers to a mostly digital format, the paper reported.

The paper’s publisher has purchased thousands of iPads to provide to subscribers. Delivery of a print paper will stop by mid-2022 for all days except Sunday.

WEHCO Media owns the paper, along with 10 other dailies, weekly papers and companies providing cable and broadband.

“If we didn't do this, we wouldn't be able to continue to publish the kind of paper we publish in Chattanooga,” said Walter E. Hussman Jr., chairman of WEHCO.

“We wouldn't be able to cover as many meetings. We wouldn't be able to serve as the watchdog function we serve as a vital journalistic Fourth Estate institution. For us to do this, we can keep our newsroom basically intact. It's the way for us to maintain good, quality journalism and fulfill our function.”

Hussman began moving other papers to the digital replica format in 2018, first with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.