Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Weekly Group Offers One-Order, One-Bill

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Weekly Group Offers One-Order, One-Bill

Article excerpt

COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER CO. (CNC) of eastern Massachusetts is nearing completion of the first year it has offered its one-order, one-bill program which includes most of its 117 newspapers.

The ad network program was rolled out during the second quarter of 1995, and some time has been spent shaking out the bugs in the software, stabilizing the technology and training the sales staff, according to William R. Elfers, chairman and CEO of CNC.

Because of a relatively recent acquisition, not all of the papers are one-order, one-bill -- one particular acquisition presently requires two bills and two orders because of a different rate card and business system.

Currently, a circulation of approximately 180,000 is on a one-bill program.

"We're working on a program so that within the next 12 months, these papers will be on one bill," explained Elfers.

Most of the newspapers were purchased by parent company Fidelity Capital during a series of acquisitions (less than 10 are start-ups). During 1995, as a result of the acquisitions, CNC doubled in size within two weeks.

Elfers said that for the second half of 1995, a 4% to 5% gain in revenue was attributed to the advertising network program.

"We believe this networking program will have a greater impact in 1996 and 1997 because the sales force must get trained, comfortable and confident with the technology for this networking program to be successful," said Elfers.

Rate discounts are available based on the volume of a buy, the circulation of the buy, or the frequency of the buy, he said.

CNC has a main office in Needham, Mass. Among the three "groups" this office houses is the major/premium accounts group, "which calls on major advertisers which have a clear need to advertise in our community newspapers," explained Elfers.

Also, each newspaper has its own sales force. Altogether, there's almost 300 advertising newspaper salespeople in classified and retail. …

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