‘Daily Press’ Moves to All Color, Fixed Ad Space

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By: E&P Staff

Tribune Co.’s Daily Press in Newport News, Va., became an all-color newspaper with its May 3 edition as part of changes to “to introduce a new advertising model,” according to the newspaper.

The transition to all color was made possible by computer-to-plate technology adopted in 2007 and modifications made since then to the paper’s 16-unit Goss Metroliner, enabling the press to print full color on all pages.

Though news photos regularly ran in color, advertisers had previously negotiated a premium for color. Full color is now standard in the rate card.

The change followed adoption of modular sizing and fixed-inventory policies for ad space earlier this year to support a move to determine optimum page count for each day based on profitability and the average volume of news and advertising by day of the week.

Since late February, the Daily Press has offered a choice of 17 modular ad sizes ranging from 1/32 of a page to a two-page spread, though nonstandard sizes are still accommodated for clients willing to commit to frequency agreements.

“We have abandoned the traditional column-inch model in favor of marketing page impact,” Daily Press President and Publisher Digby A. Solomon said in a statement. “By determining the optimum size of each day’s paper, our editorial staff is not required to literally design the paper from the ground up each day, after ad orders have been placed. Since we know where ads will run, our ad stacks have a clean, squared off look that improve the look of both the content and the advertising.”

A fixed amount of ad space was set for each day’s edition to make less space available early in the week when advertising and news content tended to be lightest, with more space allotted later in the week to accommodate heavier volume. Page layouts were templated to evenly distribute ad positions throughout the paper and maintain a 50-50 news-to-advertising balance.

“We recognized that as more readers shifted to our online product and our print circulation reached its natural level, we needed to scale the size of the newspaper so we could continue to operate profitably,” Solomon said, calling it “a radical departure from how we’d traditionally sold advertising and designed the paper.”

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