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Fall preview tabs...anyone else still doing them?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Bradley Guire, Aug 7, 2016.

  1. Bradley Guire

    Bradley Guire Well-Known Member

    The sports staff is getting together content for a combined tab on BSU, College of Idaho, and high schools.

    I'm not really part of the madness, but as newsroom design chief it's on me to make sure something goes to press.

    Always curious to see how many ads are sold and if this will be the last one.

    Who else is still doing a tab?
  2. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Here in NE Mississippi, we have a high school football tab, but this is the first year in memory that advertising gave up on selling a college section - which is weird, since we have two SEC schools in our market.

    There was some talk of rolling college content in there, but the timing - high schools start two weeks before college - was bad.

    Oddly, though, the ad sales for the high schools is the best we've ever had. Our classified department spends all summer pitching ad adjacencies for the team pages and those do quite well.
  3. Spartan Squad

    Spartan Squad Well-Known Member

    We finally gave up the ghost and this year will be the first time we don't do a tab. Sales have been off plus we got downsized in staff so the costs would have gone up because we would have needed more stories from freelancers. On the plus side, I now have content for the remainder of summer as I fold what would have been in the tab into my sections.
  4. HackyMcHack

    HackyMcHack Member

    Still doing two here in Hackyville. Just wrapped up 36 pages of high schools. Not sure how big the college section will be. But with intense interest in both here in the deep south, our ad department is wanting us to do it, even though we're super thin numbers-wise.
  5. John

    John Well-Known Member

    One of the greatest joys when I quit my newspaper job a couple of years ago was knowing that I'd never again have to do tab stuff. Absolutely dreaded all the capsules and other stuff that just felt like filler that few people actually read.
    JackReacher likes this.
  6. doctorx

    doctorx Member

    We discontinued our tab for several years, re-started it in 2003 or so and it has sold remarkably well since then. This year's runs just before the primary election.
  7. JimmyHoward33

    JimmyHoward33 Well-Known Member

    People love the tabs. They love reading about their opponents and their own teams. Our football tab is the best received thing we do all year.
  8. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    You lucked out, in a way: Do less with more!
  9. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    We switched from a traditional tab to a magazine format a couple of years ago. The downside to it is, since it has to be shipped off to a different printer it has to be done super early. Preseason practice started for public schools on Aug. 1, and the magazine had to be done on Aug. 5. Thankfully we only have four high schools that we focus on and they're busy with offseason workouts all summer, so we're able to get the stories done early. Pictures went down to the wire, though.
    We include some of the state colleges, too, which is difficult. Of the four that we ran preview stories for, three had to be written off of conference media day quotes. We try to run a list each year of our local players at four-year colleges, as well, and that's a chore. Scanning 100 college rosters for the easter egg of a guy who played two years at a juco and wound up at a Division II school three states away gets less fun every year. So does cursing out the D-II and D-III programs who still haven't posted their 2016 rosters in the first week of August.

    As for advertising, I think our publisher called it a "$20,000 product." Not sure if that's good for a 52-page magazine or not. From his tone it didn't sound like anything special. We had 10-12 pages of ads and about 40 open pages.
  10. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    That's less than 33 percent advertising ... not good.

    EDIT: 12/52 = about 23 percent, according to my calculator. Now I see why I'm not on the business side at my shop ... :(
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
  11. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    Ouch. Hate to tell you this, but $20,000 probably didn't cover the paper/print bill on a 52-page book.

    The specifics of each situation vary, but ad/edit ratio for a profitable magazine is around 60/40 advertising. A 50/50 split is acceptable. A 40/60 split covers the bills and that's about it.
  12. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Well, that just sounds peachy.
    Hopefully we got a good deal down at Joe's Print Shop and T-Shirt Emporium.
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