DENVER JOA BRINGS OUTSIZED AD HIKES

By: Gilbert Nicholson

Sunday Rates Will Increase Five-Fold


(Mediaweek) New advertising rates
are going out to Denver-area merchants in the wake of a joint operating
agreement (JOA) between The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News
and early reaction is harsh.

“I wouldn’t say they burned bridges. They blew them up,” said longtime Denver
Post advertiser Michael Nedler, owner of an upscale jewelry store, Sonny’s.

Prior to the JOA, both papers had some of the nation’s lowest display
advertising rates for a major metropolitan area, as they fiercely competed for
100 years.

But that race is over. Nedler, who runs small- to full-page ads twice a week and
on Sundays, said beginning next month his weekday rates will more than double
for each placement, while Sunday rates shoot up five-fold. He declined to
disclose specifics.

“I never dreamed it would be to this extent,” Nedler said. “At this point, the
rates are prohibitive. I don’t see how I can continue at all.”

Meanwhile, the new rates “are getting a very good reaction from customers once
they hear our story,” said Jim Nolan, director of communications for the Denver
Newspaper Agency, the oversight company that will publish both editorially
independent papers.

“What we’re trying to sell is the size and reach of the market,” Nolan said.
“We’re in nine out of 10 households and it’s an important audience for our
advertisers to reach.”

Nedler’s advertising portfolio is mostly geared to the Post. He is
waiting to hear from his Post sales rep to see if the paper will
negotiate. If not, he will consider radio and television. “I’m going to spread
my mix.”

Nedler, though, says his heavy advertising in the Post over the last five
years has been “very effective. I reached my target audience.” But under the
JOA, he must simultaneously advertise in the Rocky Mountain News, which
he normally would not do.

Nolan, says it’s impossible to calculate the rate increase percentage because of
the various rate categories and individual contracts. He hinted there would be
the kind of flexibility advertisers are seeking.

“We’ve told people, depending on their circumstances, we’ll be phasing in these
increases over a period of time. Every situation is different,” said Nolan.

“They’ve just started making presentations to the various independents,” Nedler
says. “I think the rumblings will begin any day now.”



Ellen Liburt (eliburt@editorandpublisher.com) is a reporter for E&P.



Copyright 2001, Editor & Publisher.

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