By: George Garneau
Austin American-Statesman eliminates stock prices on
weekends, and delivers them by request only sp.
PRICES INVARIABLY INCREASE, but when newsprint costs rocket 60% higher in 15 months, that’s “a whole ‘nother kettle of fish,” one newspaper executive remarked.
The Austin American-Statesman, which has a circulation of 173,105 daily and 232,674 Sundays, took a bold step in response: It eliminated the stock listings from Saturday and Sunday editions.
The change, which underwent a successful preliminary test in January, is being phased in over a two-week period, beginning the weekend of April 22.
But readers who want stock and mutual fund prices will still get them, and more.
All they have to do is call and order more complete stock listings to be delivered on Sunday.
The 20-page “Weekly Market Review” includes all 31,000 New York and 1,000 American exchange listings, plus 3,600 from Nasdaq and 4,200 mutual fund prices.
“It gives you more for no additional cost,” publisher Roger Kintzel said at the Newspaper Association of America convention this week in New Orleans.
The savings: 5.5 tons of newsprint a week from the eight stock agate pages the paper publishes over the course of a weekend.
Kintzel expects to save $200,000 on newsprint this year, as a result of delivering stock prices only to those readers who ask for them.
In addition, the 6,000 high-demographic readers of the new section command premium rates from advertisers.
The rates are about 25% of regular rates, but circulation is less than 3% that of the regular newspaper.
Kintzel hopes to gross $4,000 a week from the section this year.
It sells premium positions on the bottom of the front page, the full back page and island positions in stock listings.
Kintzel said he is running the stocks in the regular paper for two weeks, after which time they will disappear altogether from regular editions.
The American-Statesman also offers stock prices through its telephone information service.
Though newspapers toyed with the idea of dropping stock listings when audiotex first enabled them to be relayed by phone in the mid-1980s, nobody really pressed the issue ? until now.
Because newsprint prices have soared from a record low of $410 a metric ton in early 1994 to an expected $675 next week, stock listings have been pared at most papers.
Stock pages are the first to be trimmed, because readership is often low ? under 20% at the American-Statesman.
The idea started at the American-Statesman around the end of last year, as the paper contemplated a 12-page, year-end stock review.
It tested the idea of running a special section only for those readers who requested it.
The test shot worked, with 4,000 copies going out, $3,000 in ad revenue earned, and 11.5 tons of newsprint saved.
The system’s audiotex module allows subscribers to call in and input their phone numbers into a subscriber database, which can then be used as a delivery list.
Kintzel says he knows of no other paper that has eliminated stock agate.
Asked if he planned to take the concept another step and remove stocks from weekday editions, Kintzel said, “One thing at a time.”
DATE: Sat 29-Apr-1995
PUBLICATION: Editor & Publisher
SUBJECT: Sarajevo Newspapers
AUTHOR: Editorial Staff
LOCATION: Page 30
american newspaper oslobodejenje new orleans
Publishers applaud former editor of Sarajevo paper p. 30
AMERICAN NEWSPAPER publishers gave the former editor of the besieged Sarajevo newspaper Oslobodjenje a standing ovation at the annual Newspaper Association of America convention in New Orleans this week.
Kemal Kurspahic, a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University who still serves as Washington correspondent for Oslobodjenje, showed a short film that detailed the years of war his paper has been forced to endure while continuing to publish without interruption.
Kurspahic described Oslobodjenje as “the newspaper that refused to die,” explaining that when fighting in Sarajevo began in April 1992, army tanks pulled up within 150 yards of the paper’s 10-year-old high-rise office and began deliberately to shell the building.
At the height of the strife, Kurspahic said, the paper was publishing only 3,500 copies a day ? operating with presses powered by special generators, using black-market oil.
“It was the only constant in people’s lives,” he observed.
“Oslobodjenje needs your help,” said a handout card issued to each publisher. “The survival of Oslobodjenje depends very much on the international press solidarity behind it. And it needs your help.”
Donations can be sent to Kurspahic, Oslobodjenje, 12-16 Ellery St., No. 604, Cambridge, Mass. 02138.