Wal-Mart (Yes, Wal-Mart) Gets Big NAA Award

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By: Mark Fitzgerald

Wal-Mart, the behemoth retailer known to publishers across the country for refusing to advertise in the local paper, was named Newspaper Merchandiser of the Year at Monday at the Newspaper Association of America’s Newspapers ’05 marketing and production conference in Dallas.

NAA said the award “honors retailers who have demonstrated a long-term cooperative effort to sell and market newspapers in their stores and who model the industry’s cutting edge approach to single-copy promotions.”

Wal-Mart, which was nominated by Angie Hauser of the Visalia (Calif.) Times Delta, won in the category of mass merchandiser.

Winning for grocery stores was Jewel-Osco. Walgreens won in the drug stores category, while Kazi Foods Corp. won among restaurants.

Circulation executives from The Bismarck (N.D.) Tribune, the Herald Tribune in Sarasota, Fla., and The Courier Journal in Louisville, Ky. were named circulation sales executives of the year at the conference.

Winning in the under 75,000-circulation category was Keely Byars, circulation director of the Tribune. John Wiley, circulation and marketing sales manager of the Herald Tribune, was the winner in the 75,000- to 150,000-circulation category. Helen Hoffman, the Courier-Journal’s circulation director/sales, was the winner in the category for paper with more than 150,000 circulation.

The awards recognizes the executive “who has successfully created and implemented innovative programs and strategies to grow circulation or readership during the last two to five years,” NAA said.

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