With so many media vying for ad dollars, even the largest newspapers take little for granted when it comes to wooing advertisers. Innovation has become critical.
Advertising Age asked executives at 10 general-circulation dailies to explain why it's worth making a buy in their pages. Their answers are as different as the cities they serve, but all are tinkering with new editorial sections that will boost readership and programs to improve advertiser ROI.
The New York Times
(The New York Times Co.)
Background: Ms. Holzman joined The New York Times Co. in 1991, working first in its magazine group. She switched to the newspaper side in 1995 and has been in her current position since 1999.
Why buy: The Times' journalistic quality attracts a highly educated, highly influential audience so the paper is a strong brand-building vehicle for advertisers and one that delivers a strong response. "It's the company you keep," she says.
What's new: In late February, the paper held its first "New York Times Travel Show" at New York's Javits Center, drawing more than 250 exhibitors and more than 19,000 visitors. Ms. Holzman says the paper plans to conduct more such special events to drive advertisers to the print product.
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Background: Before joining the paper in 1999, Mr. Whitley was classified ad director at Knight Ridder's The Philadelphia Inquirer for two years. He also served as ad manager at McClatchy Co.'s The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee.
Why buy: Bordered by the Pacific Ocean, Mexico, Camp Pendleton and a desert, "we're a wonderful, isolated test market for national advertising," Mr. Whitley says. The Union-Tribune also likes to tout to advertisers the estimated $3 billion a year that Tijuana's wealthier residents spend in the San Diego market.
What's new: The Union-Tribune recently launched a quarterly home furnishings magazine distributed through the newspaper to ZIP codes offering prospects for furniture retailers. A free, home-delivered Spanish-language newspaper named Enlace ("The Link") offers run-of-press and preprint opportunities.
The Arizona Republic
Background: In the past 15 years, Ms. Greiwe has held various positions at six Gannett newspapers. In January 2001, she joined The Arizona Republic as VP-advertising.
Why buy: Located in the fast-growing Phoenix-Scottsdale market, the paper offers multiple ad products ranging from direct mail and custom publishing to a weekly free Spanish-language publication, so advertisers have several routes into homes. "It opens a lot of doors for us," Ms. Greiwe says.
What's new: Glossy magazines published 10 times a year that are named for, and target advertisers in, well-to-do ZIP codes. The magazines are inserted in newspapers for subscribers and mailed to non-subscribers.
Background: Ms. Kelley has been with USA Today since 1987 and moved into advertising in 1998. She was named to her current position in July 2000.
Why buy: As the paper with the largest circulation, Gannett's national daily is an efficient buy able to reach decision-makers and traveling business executives, Ms. Kelley says, adding, "You've got a very receptive audience. That speaks to ROI and accountability."
What's new: A bonus section on the National Basketball Association's all-star game, sponsored by American Express Co., may be duplicated for other events like the opening night releases of blockbuster movies.
Denver Newspaper Agency
(joint operating agreement)
Background: Mr. Brown was named in 2001 to his current post at the JOA agency, which publishes MediaNews Group's Denver Post and E.W. Scripps Co.'s Rocky Mountain News. Before that, he spent 26 years at Hearst Corp.'s Houston Chronicle.
Why buy: The agency sells two brands with unique readership characteristics, meaning deep penetration for advertisers that buy both. "We call it denim collar vs. white collar. The income is the same. They just look at their news differently."
What's new: Sports packages and quarterly editorial sections focusing on outdoor activities and tie-ins with Scripps Networks' Home & Garden Television. The agency is handling database management for advertisers.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Background: Mr. Perricone has been VP-advertising since 1992. He previously worked at Media General's The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune for 18 years.
Why buy: The Journal-Constitution has high readership among the coveted 18-34 age bracket. It says weekday editions are read by 54% of 18-to-24-year-olds in the market and by 56% of 25-to-34-year-olds. The paper also reaches across a 20-county metropolitan area and offers a select market coverage program that delivers ads on Thursday to middle- and upper-income non-subscribers. "It's certainly helpful to be able to reach that sizable an audience," Mr. Perricone says.
What's new: "Access Atlanta," a weekly, entertainment-focused tabloid insert, was launched last spring to attract younger readers and the advertisers that covet them. There's also a companion accessatlanta.com Web site.
Senior VP-sales and marketing
Background: In his current post for five years, Mr. Brownrout joined the company, which publishes The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, in 1994. The KR veteran previously worked at the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, Boca Raton (Fla.) News and Gary (Ind.) Post-Tribune.
Why buy: There's little circulation overlap so a buy in both papers reaches two distinct audiences. "One newspaper can't answer everybody's needs," he says.
What's new: To woo advertising on an important shopping day, Saturday's Inquirer has been beefed up with weekly stock listings, more strip ad positions and is being delivered free to 46,000 subscribers who were already buying a Thursday-Friday-Sunday package.
The Washington Post
(The Washington Post Co.)
Background: Ms. O'Leary joined the Post as a telephone sales representative 12 years ago.
Why buy: "We deliver the White House, the Executive Office Building, the Legislature," she says. "For people who want to get their message on a national scale, to the people running our country, we're a phenomenal buy for branding."
What's new: A 48-page auction section, titled "Auction Extravaganza," did so well last year that it will be repeated in May. Retailers get space in the section to display goods they will auction through washingtonpost.com, thus driving traffic to stores and the paper's Web site. Participants earn ad credits in the Post, while the paper keeps the sales revenue from the auction.
strategy and development
The Boston Globe
(The New York Times Co.)
Background: Mr. Flanagan joined the Globe as a co-op student in 1985 and worked in several areas before being named to his current position four years ago.
Why buy: The Globe is the largest paper in the city that will host the Democratic National Convention in July. "This is just a great year for the Boston market," he says.
What's new: Special sections are planned around the political convention. A city guide to Boston will be prepublished and mailed to all delegates headed to town. Also, a group buy committee has been established to sell ads both in the Globe and in sibling The New York Times; New York is the site of the Republican National Convention.
The Dallas Morning News
Background: Mr. Weaver was president-publisher of The Tampa Tribune for two years before joining the News in his current post in May 2003; previously he was VP-sales and marketing at the Tampa paper.
Why buy: Dallas is a wealthy market with high retail sales per household, so it's easy to target upscale consumers who spend, he says. "It's a market that loves to shop. Shopping is a sport here," Mr. Weaver says.
What's new: The News last year launched Al Dia, a six-days-a-week, paid-circulation Spanish-language newspaper, aimed at fairly wealthy households to broaden its mix of services for advertisers. The paper's Quick competes with American Consolidated Media's A.M. Journal Express.