Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Six-Day, Free Tab Making Progress

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Six-Day, Free Tab Making Progress

Article excerpt

A NEW PALO Alto, Calif., daily has survived nearly six months and its owners believe it can go the distance.

The newspaper has gone from a start up of eight pages to 16-20, and a press run of 6,600, up from an initial 3,000.

The Palo Alto Daily News, a six-day, free tabloid, which hit the streets Dec. 8, was born largely through an MBA class project one of its partners, Dave Danforth.

The News is owned by Danforth, Jim Pavelich and Dave Price, who do everything from sell ads to reporting. The paper also has an Associated Press wire, a syndicated comics page and a small classified section, which is growing.

Pavelich told E&P the News has no outside funding, but he is confident it will survive in upscale Palo Alto, population about 60,000.

Pavelich formerly published a daily paper in Vail, Colo., Danforth owned one in Aspen, and Price was an editor for the Lorain, Ohio, Morning Journal.

Danforth, while working for his MBA degree at Stanford University two years ago, did a feasibility study, which indicated that neighboring Palo Alto could support a small daily newspaper, he said. Located in the heart of the Silicon Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, Palo Alto has not had a daily since the Tribune Co. folded its Peninsula Times Tribune in March 1993. That paper mainly serve Palo Alto and nearby Redwood City. Previously, Palo Alto had its own daily for many years, the Palo Alto Times.

The Peninsula Times Tribune was a merger of the Redwood City Tribune and the Palo Alto Times.

Times Tribune circulation dropped from 66,000 in 1978 to 38,000 when it shut down. Media observers in the area attributed the decline partly to the merger, asserting that the Palo Alto Times had a clear community identity that was lost with the combination.

The San Jose Mercury News and the San Francisco Chronicle rushed in to fill the gap left by the Times Tribune with zoned editions, and the successful Palo Alto Weekly expanded to thrice weekly. …

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