Magazine article Editor & Publisher

New Hang-Up in Telemarketing

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

New Hang-Up in Telemarketing

Article excerpt

Federal ban on dialing for dollars

With hang-ups increasing and state do-not-call lists growing longer, newspapers have long recognized they need to find alternatives to telemarketing. But papers that have been slow to do so will have a tough time after Oct. 1 when a new national registry kicks in, making it easier for people to block unwanted phone solicitors' calls.

Papers have had months to scrub their call lists in preparation for the Federal Trade Commission's national do-not-call registry banning unwanted out-of-state calls. Last month, however, the Federal Communications Commission extended the rules to cover in-state calls. Violators will risk fines as much as $11,000 per call.

Newspapers that have enjoyed 12 state exemptions from telemarketing restrictions are out of luck, as the new federal regulations override such exemptions.

"The axe has fallen across the board, as far as I'm concerned," said Mark Kukiela, circulation director for The Morning Herald and The Daily Mail in Hagerstown, Md. "It's really looking bad. I can't see how telemarketing is going to survive in its present form."

Telemarketing remains the largest source of new subscriptions. Industrywide, phone solicitation generated 39.1% of new orders, according to preliminary data from the Newspaper Association of America.

"I think it's going to be frustrating because we're going to have fewer people we can get a hold of," said David Rounds, vice president for circulation at the Contra Costa (Calif. …

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