For Newspapers, Postal Rate Proposals Are ?Mixed Bag?

By: Mark Fitzgerald

For newspapers, the proposed changes in postal rates are either a very bad thing or not so bad at all, depending almost entirely on what kind of newspaper is looking at the rates.

“It’s a mixed bag for newspapers generally,” says the Newspaper Association of America’s senior vice president of public policy, Paul Boyle. “Periodicals really get slammed with an 8% increase, so any newspaper that’s mailing its product is not going to be pleased.”

On the other hand, the Postal Service is increasing the rate for most newspaper TMC (total market coverage) products weighting four ounces will go up by 4%, lower than the increase for standard mail, he notes.

And because of complaints from the newspaper industry, the rates for the high-density mail rate that newspapers generally use for their TMCs was revised downward last July. Those products will now also become eligible for the USPS’s volume incentive program, which rebates money if a certain volume of mailing is exceeded. Previously that had been available only to saturation mailers, mostly direct mail companies.

Some newspapers with lower circulation do use saturation mail, but barring high-density from the rebate program effectively shut out metros.

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