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Ads, ads, ads - it's all about ads

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by aztarheel, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. aztarheel

    aztarheel New Member

    Last year, our football tab was 20 pages for five schools ... About the right size for my humble little three-times-a-week paper, allowing me to put in a decent amount of art, schedules, extras, etc.

    I learn today that our football tab (due Friday) is only 16 pages for six schools (we incorporated another school into our coverage area). I protest but to no avail. The ad count doesn't justify going to 20 pages this time around, I'm told. Twenty pages would be too open. Publisher won't like that since he wants all tabs to be around 60 percent ads. Blah, blah, blah.

    I realize we're a business but I get really tired of this.

    I have the same argument weekly it seems about getting color for my section. I think we've had color for sports maybe twice in the past year. Meanwhile, a head shot of some bored county commissioner or a submitted photo of the Jones going to Europe for summer vacation will get color play because it's in a section where an advertiser has paid for color.

    Anybody else have these issues? People think I'm crazy around here when I actually want a tab with lots of space for content and think it would be worthwhile to invest in color for the sports section.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Doubt you're gonna get a lot of sympathy for your plight there.

    If your paper is actually selling ads for the prep football section, you're way ahead and should count your blessings.
  3. Chad Conant

    Chad Conant Member

    Ours sells pretty well. But, this is a sign of the times brother. They have to pay salaries some way.
  4. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    The last few years we haven't run a high school football tab because the ad department couldn't sell ads for it.
  5. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    How can he do that if the publisher says "no"?
  6. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    Might want to see if you can do some sort of extended content online. Might be able to make space for art and stories if you run the schedules, rosters, etc., online. It also gives people something extra for going to the Web site.
  7. aztarheel

    aztarheel New Member

    Good idea ... We're not up to speed with our Web site yet (still a pretty static page) but I think that's where we are headed at some point. We should be anyway...

    as for the four extra ad-free pages, that was initially what I had, thus a 20-page tab. But then editor and ad manager started talking, and worrying, about what the publisher would say about such an open tab. Since it would be way off the mark for having it be 60 percent ads, they changed their minds, thus what I have now, 16 pages. Thus my frustration because I've got to cram stuff in and have pretty much no room for decent art.

    This is one of the few tabs we do where all the content is staff produced. We have a lot of tabs, and good ones, but most have canned copy and are pretty much designed as a showcase for advertisers anyways (as opposed to stories). My argument - why not tighten those up, to say 65-75 percent, and cut me some space for football? I know, I'm beating a dead horse. I'll shut up now...
  8. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    Consider yourself lucky. My publisher isn't letting me hire a second full-time reporter because "the ad count isn't high enough." I have one full-time reporter and a bunch of interns. Plus one freelancer. And we pay our full-time reporters an embarrassing salary for the area we live in.

    Try THAT on for size...
  9. steveu

    steveu Well-Known Member

    Ad sales may be down depending on the shop's willingness to sell, but the last I checked the cost of newsprint had come down significantly from last year.
  10. Meat Loaf

    Meat Loaf Guest

    The publisher at my paper wanted to start a second fall tab with all the fringe sports. That means boys and girls soccer, boys and girls cross country and volleyball. It's due a week after the football tab is due.

    We told the publisher that we could do it, but not to be surprised if he bleeds money to run it because the ad people are fuckups.

    However, the ad department, being the fuckups that they are, have sold less than 50 column inches of ads for the 32-page football tab. That means that they couldn't even cover one tab page, but they haven't sold the back color cover. And that's just one tab.

    Now, the publisher has decided to cancel the inaugural fall fringe sports tab. Not to mention, he's concerned about the low number of ads for the football tab, which has been a problem for years. But suddenly it's a bigger problem.

    It'd be nice if he would actually do something about the situation. Ideally, that means he kicks ass in the ad department. Realistically, it means he cancels next year's football tab.

    I fucking hate my paper.
  11. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    I just can't believe all these people have trouble selling a football tab. Where are you guys based, Russia?

    I know times are tough for advertisers but, goddamn. It's a football tab. Everybody wants to get in on that to "support the kids."
  12. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    I'm getting a football tab for the first time in our history (I tried the last two years, but both died on the vine). It'll probably be something like 12 pages for six schools, which is small, but I'll take it. Here's hoping the ad folks can sell it (football is a big deal in Mysteryville, so I don't see how they couldn't sell it unless they go on a three-week corn liquor bender starting ... now).
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