Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Tough Times for the Tampa Bulldog

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Tough Times for the Tampa Bulldog

Article excerpt

We really didn't know what to expect. Some thought we'd sell anywhere from 5,000 to 75,000 copies of the Sunday bulldog," says Reid Ashe, publisher of the Tampa Tribune-Tampa Times.

Initially, the press run was 15,000, and the goal was to have it off the presses at 8 a.m. Saturday and in all the stores by noon.

When Ashe called it quits this month 11 months after the bulldog's debut (Aug. 15 saw the last edition), its newsstand sales were barely 3,000 and its press run 6,000.

"It was completely plus circulation, though," the publisher stresses, "and I could probably make a case that it paid off in sales. We simply felt we could get better results spending our resources on other projects like Tampa Stadium, restaurant and hotel sales. But I'm not going to go into detail about some of our other future projects."

Launch expense was moderate. No new employees - only some overtime and extra paper, Ashe says. Radio, in-house, and point-of-sales promotion were used - no television.

"And the promotion petered out pretty soon. Visibility was a problem. Newsstands buried the early paper. You just didn't see it when you came into a store. …

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