By: Lucia Moses
The Boston Globe is rolling out a Sunday bulldog edition Oct. 23, betting that giving readers a head start on the fat Sunday paper will help reverse Sunday circulation declines.
Sunday sales are down at the Globe, as at other major metro papers. In the six months ended March 31, Sunday circulation was 730,420, down 2.4% from the same period a year earlier.
“I think everybody’s been experiencing a dip, and that’s one reason we’re doing the bulldog edition, but it also reflects a change in lifestyle,” Globe spokesman Richard Gulla said.
“People have told us for a long time, ‘I don’t have time to read.’ I even heard one minister say it’s affecting church attendance. Putting it out a day early gives people a day more to look at the Sunday paper.”
The bulldog will contain most of the regular Sunday features, letting readers get an early look at classifieds, ad supplements, and Parade magazine. The Globe will print 40,000 copies initially and deliver them to 2,000 retail outlets in greater Boston between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday. The main, local, and sports news sections will be refreshed for the regular Sunday edition.
“One thing we have to keep in mind is, the area economy is booming,” Gulla said. “The kind of information we provide Sunday ? real estate, automotive, help wanted ? could be something consumers would want to get a jump on.”
The paper expects to add 10 to 15 editorial and circulation staffers to put out the early edition, which will cost an estimated $2.5 million a year to produce.
More and more papers are putting out bulldog editions, with mixed success. The early editions are winners for the Long Island, N.Y., Newsday and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but Florida’s Tampa Tribune-Tampa Times scrapped its 11-month-old bulldog in August after it fell short of expectations.
While some papers have discounted their bulldogs, the Globe’s will cost $2, the same as the regular Sunday edition.
Sunday home delivery won’t be affected, although the Globe expects the bulldog to eat into Saturday sales. Saturday circulation was 444,015 in the six months ended March 31, down 0.5% from the year-ago period.
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