Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Comments and questions

Q: Since the Postal Service has now found itself in a loss of mailing business, would it not be cheaper, now, for you to have the paper once again delivered through the mail?

A: No. Back in the 1970s, most of our home delivery – all of it not delivered on foot – was delivered by mail on the same day. It worked well for a while, and our circulation grew dramatically. But then the U.S. Postal Service began raising rates, placing more restrictions on content, and demanding that the papers be sorted and delivered to the post office earlier and earlier.

Eventually, it became more cost-efficient for us to hire independent contractors to deliver newspapers by vehicle. Going back to mail delivery would be impractical an illogical. Many subscribers now complain that delivery of their newspaper by 7 a.m. is not early enough; certainly, they would not stand for papers being delivered later in the day by mail. Postal rates keep rising. There is no mail delivery on Sunday, so we would still need to maintain a delivery service for that day, and we can't imagine why the Postal Service is still delivering mail on Saturday.


Ellipses said...

I'm not sure if the commenter was suggesting sending the paper at the current rate of postage. I agree that the newspaper isn't a particularly timely record of events (compared to TV, Radio, Internet), so delivering it with the mail would not serve much of a purpose in terms of people starting the day with the newspaper...

However, if you offered an auxiliary publication that is delivered via mail... and then cut a deal with the post office to deliver it at a reduced rate, you could sell that publication based on the broad reach (100%) of households that would be privy to it. The post office should consider delivering at a reduced rate for 2 reasons:
1) It's revenue that they desperately need
2) It should cost less to deliver this product to everyone since it doesn't need to be sorted.

Highly targeted publications, on newsprint, are delivered via mail (AAA, Senior Times, etc)... A twice weekly "Washington Magazine" could easily be delivered on Tuesday and Friday (or whenever) and be entirely ad-supported.

Of course, I have no idea what it costs to print a tabloid.

Anonymous said...

The problem is the peridocial code. The post office doesn't do deals, they have rules that must be followed to the letter. The OR like many publications decided (probably rightly) that the rules were not worth the restrictions. Ad amounts cannot exceed 55% over the year as an average for example. All ads must be measured and delinated. Big pain in the butt. Otherwise your idea makes great sense. Once the PO goes under and the private guys take over the deal could be done.