An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Yesterdayday I was in a market in California and USA today and Gannetts local paper rack in the store was empty. The racks outside the store were empty too. Right next to it was another rack with a large stack of LA Times news papers and a smaller stack of New York Times newspapers. Now it is possible they sold out but it is also possible they were not delivered at all that day. All I can say is I have noticed a real decline in the availability of the printed paper over the last year. How do they even know if a private distributor bothers to complete their entire route that day? I would think Sunday Paper in a fairly busy store would be a top priority. I didn't bother to ask the store manager but even if it they all sold out by noon shouldn't the number of papers delivered be increased? It seems to me that if you want a job done right you do it yourself and not rely on a outside contractor.
Not unusual for a USAT rack to be empty on Sunday and I bet at least some of you can figure out why. As for the local paper, is this location sold out every week, was there a very interesting local story? To determine if this was a real issue you need to look at several weeks of sales/returns info. Lastly if this was such a concern for you a quick "do you have any local gazettes left?" and you would have known if they had been delivered.
Most USA Today racks don't sell well at all since they went to $1.00. Most Markets have removed more racks from the streets than most newspapers own. The average draw for a USA Today rack is 2-3 papers and that's on the heavy side. Yes, there are those racks that do sell 6 papers a day but they are far and few in-between. Think about it, if you're a carrier will you drive out of your way to put 1 or 2 papers in a rack that may sell 1 paper at best? Take a look around where there are "groups" of newspaper racks. Chances you won't see a USAT rack. Cut costs, then you need to reduce returns. So in order to meet sellout goals you need to have a lot of sellouts. Well, it's time to go. Talk to you later.
7:38 Thanks, Yes there usually are a few USA Today still there on Sundays. They may have sold out it's just not typical. I was in there today and there was a good amount of USA Today papers and the local paper in the rack. Why do you assume I was talking about the Reno Gazette? I said it was in California and I don't work in the industry I was only looking to buy the paper and I am finding it increasingly more difficult to find it. I don't buy the USA Today I was only noticing that it usually doesn't sell out there. 9:25 well the LA Times doesn't seem to care about sell out goals only making sure there is a paper available for a customer to purchase one. The Gannett local must only think about cutting cost and reducing returns.
I believe ideal rack management is to have one return each day. At least that used to be the metric.
10:56, 7:38 here, wasn't referring to any particular paper, used gazette as a generic term and yes I can read and know you were in California, a bit touchy are we?
draw regulation is done by a computer program in the efforts to cut costs and people. The end result is chaos-either higher returns or higher sellouts. No one looks at the program, they just let it run because there are no people to manage it. But I will say this..letting wholesalers manage the sale of our product is suicidal but it is absolutely the future for all sites where there is a wholesaler. But no one listens no one cares. make all sites function the same and save money.bottom line. i have been offered a buyout after many many years in circ and I am going. what has happened to this company is sad. Anyone who knows what they are doing, who cared, who actually knows the market, stores, demographics, are or will be, gone.
If you weren’t a “glass half empty guy” you might also look at the situation as the local paper sold out and NO ONE is buying the NYT because many folks read it on the IPAD. But maybe that is just me.
Why didn't you reply to my comment where it says reply? I guess you are the type of person that doesn't read kind of guy.
1:47 the other way to look at it is if it did sell out and the rack was empty all the potential customers that were lost because it was empty. The LA Times and NY Times knows this and makes sure there are enough papers delivered so that isn't possible.
...and no matter how feels about digital vs. print (again, it's not the platform, it's the content), in my experience at our little cliquish site if I saw an empty rack when I was out and about in the morning when there should still have been some copies, I'd just call the Circ manager figurin' we're all on the same page in the larger scheme of things. Right? After all, same company logo on the paycheck? Nope. Depending on the circ manager, a position with some churn, it was either "Thanks! We'll get one of our guys out there and restock it!" or it was "Mind your own damn business!" The latter response became more common. I gave up on that whole "team" thing. I guess things have gotten even worse.
What kind of market? Grocery store or local type? Not that that should matter but around here the grocery store's draws are always high, especially on Sunday. Does the local paper actually do their own draws or are they done outside? If it's their own then they don't have their mind on their work. If it's outside like here, they have no idea what's going on locally. They go by the black and white draws and returns, without any regard for any local anomalies.Sunday sellout before noon is not good regardless.Any inquiries about draws around here get passed off to the next level. "I have no control" is the usual answer. We have single copy carriers here still, not outside delivery contractors. They used to do very well in draw management until someone decided Gannett can do it better.We all know how that's working out.
I was just a potential customer I don't know all the workings of the paper. I do know The same people that deliver the local paper deliver the USA today now. That is why it's suspicious that there were no USA Today's inside or outside. That paper usually doesn't sell out. I don't want to get into specifics about which store it was. I am not trying to get anyone in trouble on here. I ended up buying a different paper than what I wanted. I am just saying last year it wasn't this bad here.
Wow! An actual civil post! Thank you, 2:59!
To 2:59...USA draws go in peaks and valleys. For whatever reason they will flood a market with many copies, then turn around and put out less than they need. They have been doing away with machines for whatever excuse they give. A lot of the racks, or more precisely, the mechs inside, don't work right. That however should have nothing to do with store draws.The local paper in any store market should never run out, but figuring draws is not an exact science. A particular story, more coupons than usual, will bump up a selling day. Could also be that the carrier was short and just didn't have the papers to give that day.Anyway I hope you call the paper to find out. Ask for the circulation director and give him/her your story. If more people did that maybe Gannett people will get it through their heads the print paper still is wanted and they shouldn't turn their backs on years of loyal customers.
"Could also be that the carrier was short..."There is no place in this discussion for prejudice based on stature.
Dickey gives keynote address to World Newspaper Congress in Bangkok: http://blog.wan-ifra.org/2013/06/03/this-is-the-time-to-take-bold-steps-says-gannett-president
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Can a Clarion Ledger employee fix clarionledger.com? It's greeted out on the IPAD
http://www.jconline.com/article/20130603/NEWS/306030019/Howard-Witt-named-Journal-Courier-s-top-editor?gcheck=1&nclick_check=1New J&C editor
Well it has to be extensive. Questions have been asked about Duck Gate but nothing in The Times to confirm or deny. That is simply the way it is. Still, there are questions and agents assuredly will be a coming
How many papers produced in Des Moines ran yesterday's USA Today page again today? How does that even happen?
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