?Freep? Editor and Publisher Paul Anger: We?re Beefing Up Paper With Delivery Plan Success

By: E&P Staff

In a note to readers, Publisher and Editor Paul Anger declared as a success the Detroit Free Press move a year ago to discontinue home delivery four days a week, and he said that starting Monday, the Freep will begin offering a “heftier” print edition on the days it does not deliver.

“We have a good story to tell, a Detroit success story,” Anger wrote. In fact, he added, the Free Press parallels Detroit’s auto companies over the past year. “A year ago, they were at risk,” he wrote. “Now Ford’s in high gear, GM is likely to pay back the U.S. investment in full, Chrysler and partner Fiat have products in the pipeline, and collectively the Detroit Three outscore foreign brands in new-car initial quality surveys.”

Anger said “the vast majority of our subscribers have stuck with us, and the Free Press is the nation’s eighth-largest Sunday newspaper.” The e-Edition made available to subscribers averages 650,000 page views on the days the Free Press doesn’t deliver, he added. “Traffic to freep.com is up, and traffic to our mobile sites is up dramatically,” Anger wrote.

“With our success, the Free Press is again investing in our products, based on the feedback from readers in the last year — appreciative or critical, constructive, always heartfelt,” Anger said.

On Mondays, the Free Press is expanding its sports section, adding a standalone Life section with more celebrity news and “a new advertising feature called Working, which profiles businesses and spotlights job-seekers.”

Tuesdays, the Free is publishing a standalone business section and more sports coverage.

Wednesdays, the paper is adding “a special section of valuable coupons,” plus separate Life and Business sections.

Saturdays will also include separate Life and Business sections, “and a new advertising section called Celebrations debuts with a spotlight on weddings.”

Separately, the Free Press said it had begun limited home delivery service on its non-delivery day through independent contractors who buy copies from the paper and are offering delivery at a premium price. About 1,400 customers are so far getting delivery, the newspaper said.

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