Alternative Delivery Help Offered to Community Papers: National Newspaper Association Starts Service

By Kerwin, Ann Marie | Editor & Publisher, September 11, 1993 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Alternative Delivery Help Offered to Community Papers: National Newspaper Association Starts Service


Kerwin, Ann Marie, Editor & Publisher


MORE AND MORE community newspapers are interested in starting alternate delivery services.

That is why the National Newspaper Association, the trade group catering to weekly and community newspapers, is starting a new service to assist those who want to start delivering magazines, advertising or product samples to their subscribers.

The idea for the service came after the NNA's convention last year that included a session on how smaller newspapers could use alternate or private delivery.

"It was so popular that we kept bringing chairs in until we ran out of chairs. Then the session ran on so long I thought the hotel was going to start charging us rent on the room," said Tonda Rush, NNA president.

"From that, we concluded that there was a fairly high degree of interest," she said, laughing.

Mike Parta, publisher of the New York Mills (Minn.) Herald, spoke at that session. Along with neighboring publishers of eight other newspapers in rural Minnesota, Parta established a cooperative delivery system for total-market-coverage and shopper publications.

"It's a question of survival. It also allows us to control our own destiny. It allows us to control our expenses," Parta said. "Different things have made our industry unique at different times. It used to be that the equipment we used made us unique. Now it is our delivery system."

Parta started private delivery for competitive reasons. He began to deliver his shopper products to addresses in town first. Then, as he expanded into the rural routes, he and other publishers noticed they overlapped in their delivery routes and agreed to carry each other's publications.

"It took approximately a year for the whole thing to evolve," he said.

The system today actually consists of six separate delivery routes. By delivering more than one publication with each stop, delivery costs have been driven down significantly, Parta said. The delivery system delivers one shopper and the rest are total-market-coverage products of paid newspapers.

"Alternate delivery may be a new thing for a lot of [community newspapers], but they are far less intimidated about getting started with it than they were a few years ago," Rush said.

Traditionally, community newspapers are mailed to subscribers.

"We haven't done any statistical studies, but anecdotal evidence suggests that most weekly newspapers are mailed and the TMC or shoppers are delivered," Rush said, noting that exceptions can be found in both cases.

Before Parta started delivering his third-class publications, mailing costs had risen to 30 [cents] or 40 [cents] per piece. After the delivery system was up and running, average cost per piece dropped to 8 [cents] or 9 [cents] apiece.

"It's been very effective. It saves me about $50,000 a year, which to a lot of papers is the difference between being profitable and unprofitable," Parta observed.

Parta recommends that if a newspaper is paying more than 15 [cents] a drop, private delivery will most likely be a "very competitive" option.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Alternative Delivery Help Offered to Community Papers: National Newspaper Association Starts Service
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?