Verified Audit CirculationViewPoint
Volume 3 | Number 5 | May 2007


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This Month's Features:
Verified Would Like to Welcome...
Are Free Dailies the Future?
Philadelphia Inquirer Debuts Column Sponsorship
Events Calendar
Record Visitors to Newspaper Websites in First Quarter
Verified's Training and Support Services


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Verified Would Like to Welcome...

Palisades 90272 Brentwood News, Malibu Beach, Palisades 90272, Santa Monica Sun,
Bel-Air View, Beverly Hills 90210

Brentwood Media Group, Los Angeles, CA

Formed in 1991, Brentwood Media Group comprises a group of six newsmagazines serving the upper-end, western Los Angeles area communities of Bel-Air View, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, and Mailbu. Even though these communities are world-renowned, the locals still appreciate knowing what's going on in their own backyards. These magazines are delivered to homes (driveway delivery), newsstands, coffee shops, grocery stores, and more.


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Are Free Dailies the Future?

Free daily newspapers can trace their roots back to the 1940s when Walnut Creek, California, publisher Dean Lesher started the Contra Costa Times. Today, almost every European country and many major U.S. markets offer a free daily paper.

While readership of paid dailies has continued its downward spiral in the first quarter of 2007, new free dailies are popping up all across the country. The new commuter papers have been launched by both established publishers, such as The Tribune and the Washington Post Co., and new upstarts.

Traditionally, free papers have established themselves in larger U.S. markets with extensive public transit systems, such New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Washington, DC. However, the new free papers are wending their way into smaller markets, too.

The ExaminerThe business model for free papers is fairly simple: Give the papers away to bump circulation figures and sell advertising at rates lower than those of the big dailies. That's been the model of the Examiner chain, which now has papers in San Francisco, Washington, and Baltimore (and has its sights set on a number of other markets).

"What I think is interesting about this economic model is its concession that newspapers are really about the advertising stream anyway," says Thomas Kunkel, dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.

The little-known secret of most papers, he says, is that income generated by selling the paper barely covers the costs of attracting and keeping readers. "So what the freebies are saying is 'Heck, let's stop the charade.'"

As more people, especially younger ones, get their news free from the Internet, they are less inclined to equate free news with "cheap" or "insufficient," said Kunkel. "The audience cares not a whit whether they're paying for it or not," he says. "They read it if it's good and don't if it's not."

Red EyeFree dailies are making aggressive inroads into the Canadian market. "During this month, there are six free dailies being launched in just two Canadian cities—Calgary and Edmonton —where there are already two conventional paid dailies published in both markets," says Len Kubas of Kubas Consultants, a Toronto-based newspaper consulting firm.

Are free dailies here to stay? The prognosis is that there will be more free dailies in the U.S.—whether delivered directly to homes in targeted areas (the Examiner model), through the street pick-up model (Quick in Dallas, Red Eye in Chicago, Express in Washington), or via hybrid distribution in smaller markets.


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Phiadelphia Inquirer Debuts Column Sponsorship

PhillyIncAt the end of April, the Philadelphia Inquirer debuted a new column in its business section called PhillyInc. It features short, punchy news items about companies with local connections.

This wouldn't cause even a ripple in the newspaper world except that the column is sponsored by Citizens Bank who is paying for the column space. Citizens Bank's ads, and even logo, are prominently displayed.

The paper maintains that the column is in no way an advertorial. Some of the revenue generated by the column will even partially pay for an editor who will coordinate and oversee the content, according to the Inquirer.

"There's been a lot of concern (from staff) over the appearance of sponsorship and what it means," said Tony Gnoffo, the paper's assistant managing editor for business. "I tell them what my bosses tell me. We're totally in control of this thing."

To date, no major U.S. daily has tried this channel for creating new ad revenue. But Gnoffo says if the Inquirer's experiment succeeds, more newspapers will likely follow.

The idea that independently gathered news is being coupled with ad-sponsored space concerns some newspaper industry observers.

"They should never blur the line between what is and what is not for sale in a newspaper," said newspaper analyst John Morton.

But even Morton's own former business partner sees it differently.

"It's just another form of advertising," said Miles Groves, a media economist based in Washington, DC. "You may have to educate readers on what it means if they notice at all. A lot of publications use page sponsorships. It just hasn't been the case in newspapers."

According to Inquirer deputy managing editor for news Carl Lavin, "Our readers are very smart readers. They can tell the difference between an ad and journalism."


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Events Calendar

Circulation Management Conference & Expo
June 4 – 6, 2007
New York Hilton, New York, NY
www.red7media.com

Alan Levy, Verified's VP for Marketing and Sales, will be attending the conference, ready to talk with your about the services and products Verified offers.

API Advertising Leadership
June 4 – 8, 2007
Sheraton Westin, Reston, VA
www.americanpressinstitute.org

2007 Investigative Reporters and Editors Conference
June 7 – 10, 2006
Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, AZ
www.ire.org

Society of National Association Publications Conference 2007
June 13 – 14, 2007
Capital Hilton, Washington, DC
www.snaponline.org

121st Georgia Press Association Annual Convention
June 13 – 14, 2007
Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa, Savannah, GA
www.gapress.org

Association of Alternative Newsweeklies Annual Convention
June 14 – 16, 2007
Hilton Portland and Executive Tower, Portland, OR
www.aan.org

Alan Levy, Verified's VP for Marketing and Sales, will be attending the conference, ready to talk with your about the services and products Verified offers.

Montana Newspaper Association 122nd Annual Convention
June 14 – 16, 2007
Colonial Inn, Helena, MT
www.mtnewspapers.com

National Newspaper Publishers Association National Convention
June 20 – 24, 2007
Seattle, WA
www.nnpa.org

Texas Press Association 128th Summer Convention
June 21 – 23, 2007
Crown Plaza Riverwalk Hotel, San Antonio, TX
www.texaspress.com

FPA/FSNA Annual Convention
June 21 – 22, 2007
Sawgrass Marriott Resort & Spa, Ponte Vedra, FL
www.flpress.com

Mississippi Press Association Convention
June 21 – 23, 2007
Beau River Resort, Biloxi, MS
www.mspress.org

AABP Summer Conference
June 21 – 23, 2007
Grand Hyatt Denver Downtown, Denver, CO
www.bizpubs.org

American Jewish Press Association Annual Conference
June 26 – 29, 2007
Westin St. Francis, San Francisco, CA
www.ajpa.org

International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors
June 27 – July 1, 2007
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, Rapid City, SD
www.mssu.edu

PBAA 21st Annual Convention
June 27 – 29, 2007
Loews Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
www.pba.net

Tennessee Press Association 138th Annual Summer Convention
June 28 – 30, 2007
The Peabody Hotel, Memphis, TN
www.tnpress.com

If you have an event that you would like to announce, please send your information to e-newsletter@verifiedaudit.com.


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Record Visitors to Newspaper Websites in First Quarter

NAA and Nielsen//NetRatingsAccording to custom analysis by Nielsen//NetRatings for the Newspaper Association of America, more than 59 million people (37.6 percent of all active Internet users) visited newspaper websites during the first quarter of 2007, a record number that represents a 5.3 percent increase over the same period a year ago.

These website visitors generated nearly three billion page views per month throughout the quarter, compared to just under 2.7 billion during the same period last year. According to data from Scarborough Research, newspaper websites have helped drive a 13.7 percent increase in total newspaper audience for 25- to 34-year-olds and a 9.2 percent increase for 18- to 24-year-olds.

"These record-setting numbers underscore...the importance of newspaper websites to the growing newspaper footprint," said NAA President and CEO, John F. Sturm. "In addition, the sites attract a younger, more affluent audience coveted by advertisers while providing a valuable service to readers seeking immediate information from a trusted local source."

Users continue to increase the amount of time they spend on newspaper websites, with the average visitor spending more than 45 minutes per month during the quarter, an 11.5 percent increase over this time last year.

In addition to quarterly averages that surpassed previous highs, two monthly figures broke new ground of their own. In January, visitors generated an astounding 3.1 billion page views, rising above the previous record high in that category. In March, more than 59.5 million people (or more than one in three active Internet users) visited newspaper websites, the largest unique audience for any month since the association began tracking these numbers in 2004.

First Quarter Online Newspaper Audience
Year
Month
Audience (mil)
% Reach
Page Views (bil)
Visits / Person
2007

January

58.9
37.6
3.2
8.7
  February

58.8

37.5

2.8

7.9

  March
59.6
37.7
3.0
8.6
  Avg. Q1
59.1
37.6
3.0
8.4
2006

January

56.5
36.6
2.7
8.2
  February
53.9
35.7
2.6
8.0
  March
57.9
37.6
2.7
8.1
  Avg. Q1
56.1
36.6
2.7
8.1

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings Custom Analysis, April 2007

2007 MediaPost Communications.


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Verified's Training and Support Services

Verified offers professional training and support for you and your staff. We work with you every step of the way to make sure the process is as clear and trouble-free as possible. Our experienced Account Coordinators can conduct your training by phone or online with WebEx online meetings for as many employees as you like. Whatever the format, Verified's custom training can increase your understanding and improve your performance.

Training
New to Verified? Your personal Account Coordinator will train you on Verified's rules and regulations, record-keeping requirements, and reporting using either the online Web Wizard or the Audit Workbook. In addition, Verified's Resource and Information Guide is available on our website.

Support
Verified's helpful staff is available from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. If you have questions or need technical support, our knowledgeable and dedicated staff is here to help.

Auditing
We provide complete support and training for your audit. A detailed summary of the records the auditor will review is supplied. Your Audit Manager is available to go over the audit process, from scheduling of the audit to the release of the final audit report.

Assessment of Records and Operations Review
If you are unsure whether your publication is ready to be audited, we can review your documentation and operations with an expert eye and make any suggestions needed so your records are ready for a Verified audit.

If you have any questions regarding Verified's training and support services, please contact Verified at 415.461.6006.



Please send comments and story ideas to e-newsletter@verifiedaudit.com or contact us at:

Verified Audit Circulation
900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 295
Larkspur, CA 94939-1758
415.461.6006
415.461.6007 fax

2007 Verified Audit Circulation.