Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Editorial: Gannett Racks 'Em Up

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Editorial: Gannett Racks 'Em Up

Article excerpt

In years past, when city govern-ment neatniks from Boston to San Francisco laid out their plans to force newspapers into multi-title racks, Gannett was among the first to roar in indignation. In league with other dailies, the company filed lawsuits arguing that herding USA Today into a gang rack beyond its control was an insult to the First Amendment and a threat to its single-copy sales.

Gannett was right back then. The shame is that so many newspapers meekly compromised with city authorities. The result is gang racks that invariably depress single-copy sales, as any circulation director will tell you privately. These racks are plastered with ads, with which all the newspapers sold in it may or may not want to be associated. And in the end, most fail aesthetically, victims of "urban street furniture" companies more interested in selling bus-shelter ads. The decline in single-copy sales is a major problem in the industry today.

But now, far away from the big cities, a number of Gannett dailies are acting exactly like the municipal bureaucrats they once fought.

Like newspapers everywhere, these Gannett papers are busy spinning off new free niche papers -- everything from auto and help-wanted books to their own versions of youth-oriented alternatives. As we report in this issue, these dailies are using their marketing muscle to sell retail outlets on the idea that they can clean up the "clutter" of all these free papers with some tidy gang racks. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.