Dec 19, 2006

Toledo Free Press Moving to Sundays, Free Home Delivery

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Toledo Free Press (Toledo, OH) In a move that is bound to shake up local media and advertising circles, the Toledo Free Press announced today that it will begin production of a weekly, home-delivered newspaper after the first of the year.

The move will give TFP more copies in its distribution area than any print publication in Northwest Ohio, and most of the weekly copies will be distributed to single-family homes in Lucas, northern Wood, and southern Monroe counties.

Fifteen thousand copies of the free paper will still be available for pickup at free stands in more than 500 locations.

"Reader and advertiser input is the only reason we're doing it," said Tom Pounds, Toledo Free Pres president and publisher. "Our five-year plan was to get to 50,000 [copies], and here we are two years later going to 150,000."

The move will likely have adverse effects on the Toledo Blade, Toledo's only daily newspaper. The Free Press will offer approximately 20,000 copies every Sunday more than the Blade and - while Pounds did not disclose advertising rates in his statements - the Free Press has been very aggressive in its ad rates during its first two years of operation.

The Blade - which has ongoing labor disputes and locked out a number of its union members this year - can ill afford to lose the lucrative Sunday advertising revenue that TFP is likely to siphon away.

Full disclosure note - historymike is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in the Toledo Free Press on many occasions.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bluck the Fade.

-Sepp said...

We've needed a second editorial viewpoint in this town for a long time now. I think the TFP has a golden opportunity to become just that. The daily local's owners have been screwing their workers with impunity and, manipulating the local political scene for far too long. This may be the only good thing comming out of the lockout.

Suss & The Family Stone said...

Well that puts a dent in writing my column on the weekends.

Er, I mean yay! Opportunity abound!

Miller said...

Sussman;

Just think, now you can miss deadlines for 5 times as many readers! :)

Do said...

I think this is some of the best news to become news in a LONG time. The TFP is truly a great paper. And for being in publication for such a short time it has certainly cultivated (and earned) a loyal readership. I know that I am totally upside down when I don't get a chance to pick up a copy each week. Then I'm glued to the computer screen to catch the highlights!

Way to go TFP!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh great. One more thing to litter my property and carry to the trash. I detest the freebies tossed on private property with impunity. The Blade's blue bags, the Press, and now this -- not to mention all the pizza flyers and Seaway Foods flyers stuck in the door. I'd appreciate a local law requiring these businesses to operate by subscription only. Requesting non-delivery is generally met with agreement, but then the deliveries begin again. It's just a royal pain in the rear.

And I seriously doubt that a Sunday TFP will be any more threatening to the Blade than the mid-week version has been. TFP is not much of a paper, and they showed themselves to be utterly without ethics in their handling of the book proposal fiasco.

historymike said...

From a business perspective, anonymous, the TFP move is brilliant. The Sunday paper is where the lion's share of the ad revenue is located.

And you have a real hangup about the Jon Stainbrook affair. Any connections you'd like to disclose?

Anonymous said...

Mike,

I know all about Sunday advertising, but I don't consider the TFP move "brilliant" because I don't think it'll amount to anything. TFP has an inflated view of its own importance.

I don't know that "hangup" is a fair characterization of my stance re the book proposal. I found TFP's behavior deplorable and devoid of ethics.

My "connection," if it can be called that, is this: I'm an author. I identify with the situation because I know how furious and wronged I'd have been had someone misused my book proposals in that manner. It was an outrageous episode as anyone in book publishing would understand --and as management at a newspaper should likewise have understood.

There are gentleperson's agreements in the publishing world, a code by which moral professionals operate and TFP violated that code blatantly and without apology. Rather, they displayed reckless disregard for intellectual property, work product, and copyright protections, and they abandoned the basics of common decency. That they presented their actions as reporting the news was a slap in the face to real journalists. They were giddy with self-importance at a time when they should have been hanging their heads in shame.

I've not looked at an issue of the paper since the book proposal story was published. TFP disgusts me.

liberal_dem said...

I find that the quality of articles and the writing styles of the TFP to vary quite a bit from week to week.

In my opinion, it needs to embrace a certain style and stick with it, otherwise it will just be another blog site, on paper.

Hooda Thunkit said...

I'm looking forward to watching this evolve.

Of course, I'll be rooting for TFP ;-)