By: Ellen Liburt and Joe Nicholson

Newspaper Advertising Sales May Equal Last Season

Holiday ad sales at many newspapers around the country appear
poised to equal or surpass last year’s barn-burner season.

“Our holiday season has been very good,” said Gene H. Grant,
display ad director at California’s Sacramento Bee. “We’re
showing strong, midsingle-digit increases in November, and we
should be doing that well in December.”

On the East Coast, Joe Antle, advertising director of Norfolk’s
Virginian-Pilot, declared, “Our retail advertising has
been very good and has picked up in the last couple of months.”
He said “excellent” results from local accounts have made up for
some declines with major accounts.

Allen J. Walters, vice president for advertising at The Denver
Post, said the biggest change in overall sales has been the
loss of Y2K ads and the dot-com implosion. “Department store
volumes are down very slightly, compared with last year,” he
added, “and consumer electronics is actually about flat.” Walters
said he expects those categories to bounce back with “a last-

minute increase in ROP [run-of-press advertising] … just before
Christmas and also right after Christmas.”

Dwight Brown, Houston Chronicle vice president of
advertising, said he has had “incredible” sales with inserts, but
that ROP has been mixed. Some top ROP accounts have gone out of
business; others have cut back. Still, he said he has made “very
strong gains in medium and small accounts.”

Richard Reeves, advertising director at the St. Petersburg
(Fla.) Times, said holiday ad sales were “up over last
year [but] under plan,” and he predicted December would be “up

Ellen Liburt (
is a reporter for E&P.

Joe Nicholson (
is an associate editor covering marketing and advertising for E&P.

Copyright 2000, Editor & Publisher.

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