Syndicating NIE Supplements; Knight-Ridder's Systematic Approach to Marketing Newspaper in Education Supplements Appears to Be Paying Off

By Fitzgerald, Mark | Editor & Publisher, May 21, 1994 | Go to article overview

Syndicating NIE Supplements; Knight-Ridder's Systematic Approach to Marketing Newspaper in Education Supplements Appears to Be Paying Off


Fitzgerald, Mark, Editor & Publisher


THREE YEARS AFTER its launching, Knight-Ridder Inc.'s systematic approach to marketing Newspaper in Education supplements appears to be paying off.

Knight-Ridder Productions, a Lexington; Ky.-based subsidiary of the Miami-based chain, has more than 100 newspaper customers for its NIE supplements.

Newspapers taking the supplements range from the 8,700-circulation Union-Record in Milledgeville, Ga., to the 372,000-circulation San Diego Union-Tribune.

Knight-Ridder Productions (KRP) sells to NIE programs regardless of the affiliation of the local newspaper, says Bekki Franklin, KRP production sales coordinator.

"From the start of this we targeted non-Knight-Ridder papers along with Knight-Ridder newspapers," Franklin said. KRP's initial success is all the more remarkable given the remarkably small penetration that newspaper chains have achieved in marketing NIE products.

Several big chain-owned papers have been successful in marketing individual supplements, but attempts to go farther have never really worked out before.

Tribune Co.-owned Chicago Tribune, for instance, has had considerable success selling many of its NIE supplements to other newspapers.

But these supplements tend to sell themselves.

"Very often what happens is a newspaper will ask for the material either because they have seen it displayed somewhere, for instance at an NIE conference, or they call us and say, |Do you have anything on [a particular subject]?' Or they read about it in a trade publication," said Helen Lightstone-Bloch, education services manager of the Tribune.

The Tribune products have been so successful that some years ago the newspaper decided it would try to market them systematically, Lightstone-Bloch said.

The idea more or less died aborning amid the difficulty of trying to start a new enterprise while servicing the Tribune's extensive NIE effort throughout the Chicago area.

"It's just very hard, very hard for NIE people to find the time," she said.

At KRP, Bekki Franklin agrees.

"You really have to have someone dedicated to just this," she said. …

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