Saturday, October 05, 2013

Butterfly Project formally launches tomorrow

That's when The Indianapolis Star and The Post-Crescent in Appleton, Wisc., start adding dozens of pages per week, including new daily, standalone USA Today national and foreign news sections. Some of the added pages will include more local news, although publishers haven't been specific about how much and what kind.

The two dailies will be joined by two more in Fort Myers, Fla., and Rochester, N.Y., on Monday as Corporate starts a pilot test of what's called the Butterfly Project. The initiative, under discussion at least since summer 2012, hopes to boost advertising sales, especially for national ads through the new USAT section.

Indy is adding 70 pages a week; Appleton, more than 48; Fort Myers, 70, and Rochester, about 60.

With tomorrow's debut, USAT will be publishing its first regularly scheduled print Sunday edition since the paper was launched in September 1982. Next weekend would bring the first Saturday edition.

If Butterfly is successful, it could be extended to about three dozen other U.S. community dailies from coast to coast with combined circulation exceeding 2.3 million weekdays and 3.5 million Sundays.

Depending on how it counts those abbreviated national editions, USAT could add millions in daily plus first-ever Saturday and Sunday circulation when it reports to the Alliance for Audited Media for the March 31 period. That would help the paper blunt losses after it doubled its single copy price to $2 last Monday.


  1. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict most folks here will be critical of the Sunday editions. What are the odds?

  2. I predict one of those people will be the guy who tried to tell us the newsprint and ink for this endeavor would cost more than $1 million for each newspaper. Everyone I have talked to has discounted that information.

    1. What is the cost of the daily and Sunday editions after this change for the papers on the Butterfly project? Same price or price increase?

    2. Subscription prices are going up in many if not most markets this month and later this fall. Some -- such as Des Moines and I think Rochester -- will see enormous increases.


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