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A circular conversation -- or, what's in your Sunday paper?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Johnny Dangerously, May 26, 2013.

  1. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    No idea what these are bringing in, no idea how much inserts have replaced display ads, but I was curious and took a look today. The Columbian in Vancouver, Wash., has the following inserts:

    Chuck's Produce & Street Market
    Big Lots
    Big 5 Sporting Goods
    Best Buy
    Rite Aid
    Dick's Sporting Goods
    JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores
    Old Navy
    FredMeyer (thick)
    Canon/Pro Photo Supply

    There is also a Real Estate section, which I know is not an insert, but I've never really considered that part of editorial.

    Frankly, I was surprised to see so many inserts. How much they help the bottom line I can't say, but I've seen places with very little happening relative to Sunday inserts.

    Anybody else have a print edition in their hands? Whatcha got?
  2. SixToe

    SixToe Well-Known Member

    I don't read our local publication anymore but the Sunday and Wednesday inserts were strong revenue-generators.

    First thing I always threw in the trash, too.
  3. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    My only issue was one place where I worked the publisher insisted on backing up the Saturday night deadlines to 10 p.m. because we had so many inserts to include and many of them had to be hand inserted.

    Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to lose 1-2 hours on a Saturday night, every week, during the fall and winter sports seasons? Not only is it the bigger paper of the week, so backing up the deadlines tends to make me show up earlier in the afternoon, which messes with what little free time I have on Saturday afternoon. But, of course, it puts a serious cramp in getting important results in the section.

    Once it became clear the publisher didn't care about either, the search for a new job was on.
  4. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Seems like the Sunday papers are justifying the higher price these days more with coupons than additional content. Outside of Parade or whatever, you don't see a lot of extra stuff in most Sunday papers.
    A lot has to do with papers moving their entertainment/activity calendar out on Thursday or Friday, but you think about what has been cut from most newspapers (book reviews, expanded opinion/op-ed, and expanded features) and most Sunday papers look pretty skimpy.
  5. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    I worked briefly in the custom publications division of a major metro (around the time when the bottom hadn't completely fallen out of papers but serious craters were opening in the floor), we did the real estate section and advertiser-bought pubs. My standard line to explain the job to others was "I do all the stuff that you toss from the Sunday paper."
  6. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    Wow. We must be a rarity. The three things you specifically mentioned -- book reviews, expanded op-ed and expanded features -- we still do. We also expand the news section and anchor it with one or two bigger enterprise stories. And we try to do something special in the Business and Sports sections, too, though sometimes Sports is dominated by game coverage.
  7. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    They do produce revenue, just not nearly as much of it as when grocery stores and discount stores used to advertise in news sections.
  8. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    Many of the ads in the local paper come on my doorstep as free circulars.
  9. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    I had occasion this weekend to go into my hometown paper's online archives and look at a Sunday section from 1978. It was unbelievable how much display advertising it had -- and how many more pages the Sunday section was compared to today's.
  10. steveu

    steveu Well-Known Member

    I do that a lot myself. If you look on Ebay at papers for sale, a lot of times papers used to include the page counts. Some of those figures would make you cry. A midweek Los Angeles Times at 150 pages... for 25 cents.

    Ah, the good old days.
  11. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

    Why should someone subscribe to the newspaper, even if they don't care for the news? Because the coupons cover the subscription costs, plus, you'll never have to buy rubber bands again.
  12. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    I can recall in the mid- to late 90s, you used to be able to get both the AJC early Sunday edition -- the one that came out Saturday afternoon -- and the actual Sunday edition bundled together on Sunday afternoons. The hook was that you got all the coupons twice. I worked at a grocery store and the things were enormous.

    Not sure how many people ever bought them, or if it still exists (I can't imagine it does, if only because I can't imagine the early Sunday edition still exists), but never underestimate the draw of coupons.
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