Thursday, January 22, 2009

Newspaper Folks: Do this Next

With all the blablabla about the "End of Print," it's sometimes hard not to get distracted by all the noise. But here is a radio station in Central PA that seems to be getting it right.

While at the laundromat, I picked up a copy of "Good News - Bear Country Radio's Monthly Magazine." The tagline is Celebrating our eleventh year of bringing "Good News" to the Susquehanna Valley. You can take a look for yourself at

The version in hyperspace is 56 pages. The physical copy is 48pp. I'm holding it in my hands, and recounted twice. Anyway it is an appx 8 by 10 4 color newsprint glued and trimmed product, printed on a cold set web Press.

Of the 48 pages, 31 1/2 are ads.

Since anything I know I got from scanning the Print product the following numbers are not meant to be exact. Here's what they say in Print.
"Business Cards Ads - Just $15 - Call 570-769-2327. " ,"Combine your RADIO advertising with PRINT. . .Call us for Special Packaging Rates! 570 769 2327.
It's hard to tell what money changes hands for what. The back of the envelope is 15 "Business Card Ads" on a page, so let's say lowest net per page at $225. Thirty one and a half pages of ads at $225 per page. Now consider the cost of a cold set web magazine product with minimal distribution costs. Now consider that the staff listed on page 2 is 1 editor, 1 editorial assistant, 2 contributing editors, and 4 sales people. Do the math.

Hint number 1.
Look at the product very closely. At the bottom of every page is "Please Patronize These Advertisers." On page 6 of the Print versions is a "SPOTLIGHT ON: A local Business Success Story! And my personal favorite, under the copy about each Radio show, "Please patronize this fine sponsor of "To Your Health" - page 8 in Print.
Hint number 2.
If you think this can't be done in your area, consider how many natural groups of 25K to 100K people among your readership. Where do they live? Where are their laundromats?
Sometimes you can learn more in a laundromat then in at an expensive conference listening to really smart people taling about the Future of x,y,z . . . Ain't Print grand?

To our printer and designer viewers.
I'm pretty sure you can take it from here. The printers are probably too busy printing to spend the time. But, designer friends, how many local newspapers - not the NYTimes, etc.- do you think that you could contact?

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