Verified Audit CirculationViewPoint
Volume 3 | Number 6 | June 2007

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This Month's Features:
Verified Would Like to Welcome...
What's Online? Web Presents Many Content Choices
Magazine Sites Add Wikis
Publishers May Lose DTC Drug Ads
Although Q1 Ad Spending Down, Still Some Bright Spots
Events Calendar
First Quarter Newspaper Print Ads Down, Online Up
Ask the Experts

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Verified Would Like to Welcome...

Fort Collins Weekly Fort Collins Weekly
Fort Collins Weekly
Fort Collins, CO

Fort Collins Weekly is a general-interest, magazine-style newspaper serving Fort Collins and Larimer County. With a focus on in-depth and investigative local reporting, the Weekly offers its readers an analysis and understanding of local events that cannot be found elsewhere in the region. Led by a staff of award-winning journalists and authors, the Weekly is where Fort Collins turns to learn about and understand the issues that impact the community.

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What's Online? Web Presents Many Content Choices

ContentPublishers are using many different strategies to handle their website content. The approaches range from posting everything from the print edition to creating entirely new online content.

While some publishers have hired web-specific editors and staff, other have added website management to their current staff's to-do list.

What's the best strategy for your publication? Here are some approaches publishers are using today:

  • Use all content, except advertising.
  • Use totally unique content created for the website.
  • Use a combination of print content and unique content. Unique content can be supplied by current staff, dedicated online staff or freelancers.
  • Have only part of your publication's content available online or post only part of a current story. Include a note: "You can find more about this topic in this week's edition."
  • Use all content, plus extras such as updated events calendars, additional photos or interactive features such reader polls and forums.
  • Post the previous issue's content only. For example, content for the March issue is available once the April issues has been distributed.
  • Repurposed content from the print edition, plus add a "rest of the story" from the current issue with information that wouldn't fit in the print edition.
  • Have at least one "web extra" article such as late-breaking news.
  • Post content shared with other publications or websites. If your publication covers home and design, your readers may be interested in restaurant reviews or financial news.

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Magazine Sites Add Wikis

Some magazines have added Wiki-style reference pages to their online offerings. Joining user-generated content, blogs and social networking sites, Wikis provide one more avenue for publishers to reach their readers.

Food & Wine Across AmericaAmong the first magazines using this technology are Food & Wine magazine, which offers an epicurean Wiki, and, which creates organizational charts for such companies as Apple, Yahoo!, and General Motors.

Food & Wine's Wiki is essentially a vast guide where people can report on things like their favorite restaurants, cheese shops, or coffee bars across the U.S.

In addition, people can nominate destinations for inclusion or find great places for food and wine in other cities. These passionate "foodies" are the perfect audience for this type of information exchange. Users must create a profile to participate in the Wiki.

"Big cities no longer have a monopoly on talented chefs and innovative food artisans," said Food & Wine's Editor-in-Chief, Dana Cowin. "This new Wiki site combines our expertise with the discoveries of devoted local foodies to provide an in-depth guide to exciting food around the country, whether in Kansas City or San Francisco." Wiki calls itself an "experiment" and an "early beta" version. They are asking users to help define and improve the Wiki as they use it. Users can add a company or person, find a person, or edit a posting. You don't have to register to use the Wiki. The site includes a disclaimer that they do control the content of the Wiki postings.

WikipediaThe name Wiki comes from the Hawaii word wiki wiki which means "quick." It is a simple piece of software (not much more than five lines of computer code) that you use to create a website that can be edited by anyone.

The main advantages are that it is easy to use and allows for mass collaborative authoring.

There are many different commercial Wiki systems on the market as well as numerous free software programs. The most popular Wiki is Wikipedia (

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Publishers May Lose DTC Drug Ads

Digger for LamisilCongress is considering several pieces of legislation that could restrict–or perhaps ban direct-to-consumer (DTC) drug advertising. This would represent a huge hit to publishers' advertising revenue. According to a study by TNS Media Intelligence, spending on DTC ads will be about $4.5 billion in 2007 alone.

For the first quarter of 2007, the Publisher's Information Bureau reported Drugs & Remedies ad spending increased 13.7% over 2006–the largest increase of any major advertising category.

Lori Reilly, Vice President for Policy and Research at PhRMA, a pro-industry lobbying group, said the single biggest threat comes from debate over "Prescription Drug User Fee Act" (PDUFA), which is up for renewal in September. PDUFA requires pharmaceutical companies to pay fees to support the FDA review of new drugs. This money allows the FDA to hire more staffers, thus shortening the review process.

PDUFA legislation has never included any provisions regarding pharmaceutical advertising in the past. However, Senate members have appended various rules and restrictions on advertising to this year's bill. As of June 2007, a joint House-Senate conference committee is still hammering out the final version.

The pharmaceutial companies argue that DTC ads serve to "educate" the public. They acknowledge that DTC ads increase the amount spent on prescription drugs but that early treatment and diagnosis reduces spending on other medical services, such as hospitalization, over time.

Of most concern to both advertisers and publishers, the new bill could possibly include a two- to-three-year moratorium on DTC advertising. In addition, civil fines of $150,000–$300,000 may be levied each time a "misleading" drug ad is aired or printed. The bill may also include a "black triangle" warning–similar to cigarette warning ads.

According to Reilly, delays surrounding these extra provisions to the bill may mean that there is a chance that PDUFA will not be renewed by the deadline of September 30, 2007. Reilly cautions that the whole pharmaceutical industry will be disrupted, not just its marketing arm. If PDUFA doesn't pass, she warns, the FDA's funds for drug review will dry up, new drug approvals will slow, and the FDA won't have funds to approve drug advertising.

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Although Q1 Ad Spending Down, Still Some Bright Spots

Ad Spending DownAccording to TNS Media Intelligence, an ad-tracking firm, advertisers spent just $35 billion on all media advertising, down 0.3 % from the same time in 2006. After these figures were released, earlier predictions of even modest growth (2.1%) in ad spending seem foolishly optimistic.

"Coming into the year, marketers are faced with slowing rates of growth in the general economy, in consumer expenditures and in corporate profits," said Jon Swallen, Senior Vice President of Research at TNS. "Against this backdrop, marketers seem to have cautiously pulled in the reins on their early year advertising budgets."

The top three advertisers—Procter & Gamble, AT&T, and General Motors (GM)—significantly decreased ad spending in the first quarter. GM slashed ad expenditures the most, reducing spending by 30.9%. In addition, the major ad categories—including telecom, automotive, and travel and tourism—were down by 1.1%.

But there were some bright spots. Advertising spending on magazines, Internet, and outdoor advertising saw year-over-year increases compared to 2006.

According to the TNS report, magazines were up overall 4.4% with consumer magazines up 7.1% and Spanish-language magazines leading the way with 14.3% growth. However, B2B, Sunday magazines, and local magazines suffered declines.

Internet advertising posted a whopping 16.7% increase over 2006. This was slightly lower than the pace for 2006 but still very strong. Outdoor advertising was up by 2.4%.

Newspapers took the biggest hit, with an overall 4.7% loss. National newspapers suffered the largest losses with a 5.3% decrease. Local newspapers (-4.6%) and Spanish-language newspapers (-1.9%) followed the downward trend.

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Events Calendar

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

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

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

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

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

National Newspaper Publishers Association National Convention
June 20 – 24, 2007
Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Seattle, WA

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

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

Mississippi Press Association Convention
June 21 – 23, 2007
Beau River Resort, Biloxi, MS

AABP Summer Conference
June 21 – 23, 2007
Grand Hyatt Denver Downtown, Denver, CO

Alan Levy, Verified's VP for Marketing and Sales, and James Desser, Chief Operating Officer, will be attending the conference, ready to talk with you about the services and products Verified offers.

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

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

PBAA 21st Annual Convention
June 27 – 29, 2007
Loews Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

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

California Newspaper Publishers Association 119th Annual Convention
July 12 – 14, 2007
The San Francisco Fairmont, San Francisco, CA

Oregon Newspaper Publisher's Association Summer Publishers Convention
July 12 – 13, 2007
Salem Conference Center, Salem, OR

Stanford Professional Publishing Course
July 13 – 21, 2007
Stanford University, Stanford, CA

API Leadership Retreat for Women Media Executives
July 15 – 20, 2007
The Copperfield Inn, North Creek, NY

If you have an event that you would like to announce, please send your information to

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First Quarter Newspaper Print Ads Down, Online Up

NAAAccording to preliminary estimates from the Newspaper Association of America, advertising expenditures for newspaper websites increased by 22.3% to $750 million in the first quarter compared to the same period a year ago.

Advertising on newspaper websites made up 7.1% of total newspaper ad spending in the first quarter compared with 5.5% for the same period a year ago.

"The percentage of ad spending generated by newspaper websites continues to grow as advertisers realize the value of [this] web audience—consumers who have higher household incomes and shop online more frequently than other Internet users," stated NAA President and CEO, John F. Sturm.

Advertising expenditures at newspapers and their websites totaled $10.6 billion for the first quarter of 2007, a 4.8% decrease from the same period a year earlier. Spending for print ads in newspapers totaled $9.8 billion, down 6.4% versus the same period a year earlier.

Among the major print components in the first quarter:

  • Classified advertising fell 13.2% to $3.4 billion
  • Retail declined 2.2% to $4.8 billion
  • National was down 2.8% to $1.7 billion

Within the classified print category in the first quarter:

  • Real estate advertising fell 14.2% to $953 million
  • Recruitment dropped 14.3% to $975.3 million
  • Automotive was down 20.1% to $751.3 million
  • All other classifieds were down 0.5% to $699.3 million

"Newspapers continue to make aggressive moves to redefine classified advertising through new online partnerships and other approaches that will position them for the future," Sturm concluded.

2007 MediaPost Communications.

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Ask the Experts

Have a question? Need advice? Like to speak your mind?

Verified would like to hear from you.

Our panel of experts is ready to answer questions on a wide range of topics. Email your questions to . Each month, Viewpoint will select a few questions from those submitted. We'll give you the latest information, help you find articles and resources, or provide you with necessary strategies and techniques.

Speak up! This is your opportunity to be heard.

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Verified Audit Circulation
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Larkspur, CA 94939-1758
415.461.6007 fax

2007 Verified Audit Circulation.