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U.S. Postal Service to eliminate next-day delivery - the print media impact

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by WolvEagle, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. WolvEagle

    WolvEagle Active Member

    Here's the link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/industries/facing-bankruptcy-us-postal-service-plans-unprecedented-cuts-to-first-class-mail-next-spring/2011/12/05/gIQACMHEVO_story.html

    Obviously, Postal Service cutbacks shouldn't be a shock to anyone. But, this could really affect the newspaper/magazine industry. Two of the six newspaper editions we produce every week in our office are mailers. One is produced two days ahead of time and could be on the chopping block anyway; the other is produced one day ahead of time and decidedly is not. I'll be really curious to see how this affects my shop - and lots of other shops around the country.
     
  2. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Some important context on why the USPS is "in the red":

    http://redtape.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/10/07/8191425-twisted-government-accounting-behind-postal-service-woes
     
  3. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    I'd be fine with the mail being delivered every other day. Or just on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

    That said, I have no idea if something like that is even possible given the logistics. But there's no need for daily mail delivery.
     
  4. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I agree with this, as long as I get my damned Sports Illustrated before the next one is online.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2015
  5. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Personally, I wouldn't have a problem sacrificing SI for a 2- or 3-day-a-week mail delivery system.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2015
  6. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    We're screwed. We've been all-mail delivery for about four years. Our publisher printed editorials last year (maybe two years ago) when the post office considered eliminating Saturday delivery. Then USPS decided that all mail sorting would be done in Kansas City and we had to make some sort of deal to make sure the paper would be delivered the next day, even inside the city limits. Now this.

    This would also affect our sister paper and at least four other dailies in Kansas. I know that one of them avoided using the term "morning paper" when they switched over because it's actually more of a "when you get your mail paper" and in my neighborhood, it never arrives before 1 p.m.

    What I really hate about going to all-mail is taking calls from people who didn't get the paper that day. We don't deliver the paper. The post office does. Call them.
     
  7. murphyc

    murphyc Well-Known Member

    We're screwed as well. Our weekly is printed and delivered Thursday morning, we label it and take it to the post office early Thursday afternoon. Most subscribers get the paper in the mail Friday. Last week the post office somehow screwed up and we got call after call from people asking where their paper was. Of course, the USPS won't refund when they screw up.
    The article mentions periodicals could be two to nine days, but could be next day if taken directly to the processing center. With the changes, I believe our "local" processing center will be in Portland, which would be about 250 mile roundtrip. That is a lot to spend each week, on top of the costs already associated with mailing. I imagine we'd have to strongly consider going back to home delivery.
    It would be one thing if we were talking about an organization that has been great to work with. But most of the people we've had to deal with at USPS have been a-holes who seem to get off on changing the rules and regulations or choose new rules to enforce whenever they please.
     
  8. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    I think this will have a huge impact on smaller daily papers, who have found they can cut some expense (and a lot of headache) by ditching the carriers and having the postal service deliver the paper.

    Like apeman mentions, just the discussion of cutting Saturday delivery has to make mail-delivered papers very nervous. Most of them have "Saturday-Sunday" or weekend editions, and that's their heavy advertising day. Losing that day of mail service alone would force just about everyone other than weeklies to go back to carriers.

    And correct me if I'm wrong, murphyc, but doesn't the "privilege" of sending a paper out with a periodical rate come with some restrictions, such as percentage of ads allowed?
     
  9. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    The ad ratio is 50 to 70 percent and that includes inserts.
    You can miss the ad ratio a few times and the post office doesn't care.
    If you miss for the year you lose the periodical rate.
    The difference is tens of thousands annual.
    Periodical rate is bone cheap, like a couple of pennies as opposed to a quarter or more for second class mail.
     
  10. WolvEagle

    WolvEagle Active Member

    I mentioned the change to the editor of one edition in our office that's all mail (published Fridays). She hadn't heard about it yet. She was quite worried about the change. We'll have to see how it plays out.
     
  11. JPsT

    JPsT Member

    iPad edition is great. Shows up right on time each week.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2015
  12. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Can I have your iPad whenever I want to read SI?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2015
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