By: Jim Rosenberg
Publishers of The Detroit Daily Press said at a news conference Friday that they will launch a third Detroit-area daily through newsstands on Nov. 23, with home delivery to commence a week later.
Brothers Mark and Gary Stern, who published dailies during newspaper strikes in Detroit and other cities years ago, plan to distribute 200,000 copies of their first edition in three counties.
As reported here earlier, the decision to start the paper was made when the Detroit Media Partnership joint operating agency cut back home deliveries of the News and Detroit Free Press to two and three days, respectively, according to Mark Stern, retired publisher of dining and entertainment weeklies.
Staffed by former employees from other area newspapers, the Press newsroom is led by former Detroit News assistant features editor Bruce McLaughlan and is housed in a former newspaper headquarters in Royal Oak, just north of Detroit (E&P Online, Nov. 12).
Many other staffers are veterans of the Detroit Media Partnership, including Production Director Pat Izzo, Mark Stern told E&P. Izzo followed the Detroit Media Partnership CEO Frank Vega to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“The talent that’s coming into this organization is going to make it a winner,” said Stern.
Printing and distribution will be outsourced to third parties. “We’re printing at two independent print places,” said Stern, adding that they will not be identified.
Weekday copies of the Press will cost 50 cents; Sundays will cost $1. While copies will cost half of what competitors charge, said Stern, advertising will cost one-quarter of what the others’ charge.
At their initial announcement this summer, the brothers said they had enough capital to float the Daily Press for two months, and needed 150,000 subscribers for the operation to break even.
The Sterns published dailies in Detroit, St. Louis, Minneapolis and New York. Their original 1964 Detroit Daily Press ran for 122 days, during which time it became the fifth largest U.S. daily, according to Mark Stern.
Unlike those papers, which took a week or less to put into operation, says Stern, the new Daily Press has taken five-and-a-half months, and “this is a permanent situation for us.”