Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Newspapers First's Smaller Knight-Ridder Papers Can Seek New National Ad Rep Firm: New Focus Will Be Aimed at Becoming Primarily a Major Metro Market Sales Organization

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Newspapers First's Smaller Knight-Ridder Papers Can Seek New National Ad Rep Firm: New Focus Will Be Aimed at Becoming Primarily a Major Metro Market Sales Organization

Article excerpt

SMALLER KNIGHT RIDDER newspapers that currently are part of Newspapers First will be free to seek their own national representation, according to a top Newspaper First executive.

"Newspapers First is reorientating itself to be primarily a major metro sales organization," said Jerry Tilis, vice president of marketing for Knight-Ridder and chair of the Newspapers First board. "As Newspapers First goes through that redirection, the smaller Knight Ridder newspapers will be allowed and encouraged to seek representation to fit their needs."

The move will allow for a "more intense focus" on the major metro papers, Tilis said, and will make Newspaper First "more attractive to both current and prospective newspapers."

The decision affects Knight-Ridder newspapers that are not in the top 100 ADIs, of which there are about 14. The smaller papers will be given autonomy in their decision and can choose to stay with Newspaper First. Or, they can opt for a single rep for the group, or break from the group and seek individual representation.

"Our desire is to try to go with one rep firm because then the block of Knight-Ridder newspapers is more valuable," Tilis said.

A four-member task force for the smaller newspapers has been formed and is headed by Tom Privett, vice president of marketing for the Talahassee (Fla.) Democrat.

Privett said the task force is developing a spec form for rep firms that want to bid on the business. The form should be ready in about a month, he said. …

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