Denver, Atlanta papers touch down in Miami p.8

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By: Robert Neuwirth The dueling papers in the Mile High city are fighting a skirmish on a front more than 2,000 miles from home. And Atlanta's newspaper is engaged in a costly 600-mile airlift as well.
With the Denver Broncos and the Atlanta Falcons ready to rumble in Super Bowl XXXIII, The Denver Post, Denver Rocky Mountain News, and Atlanta Journal/Constitution are all shipping papers to Miami to capitalize on football fever. For the past week, the Denver papers have been distributing copies at hotels, to the media, and to team members. They say it's an effort to boost their standing across the country and the world as millions turn their attention to the Super Bowl.
"You don't look at opportunities like Miami to build your circulation," says Tom Botelho, vice president for marketing for MediaNews Group's Denver Post, which is sending thousands of papers a day to Miami. "It's all about positioning our newspaper. You have all the national and international media there."
Crosstown rival the Denver Rocky Mountain News agreed. "The effort here is designed to get the Rocky Mountain News a real strong presence and great visibility and awareness," says Bruce Johnson, vice president for circulation of the E.W. Scripps-owned paper.
The News is flying "several hundred" copies to Miami every day, says single copy manager Hugh McGarry ? about half full of papers and half of a special Super Bowl/sports section combo destined for the hordes of reporters and media-types who are currently huddling for the Super Bowl.
The paper, which refuses for competitive reasons to reveal the actual number of papers it is shipping to Florida, has had four circulation department people stationed in Miami to coordinate distribution.
The News, though it is shipped from its Denver printing plant at 7 a.m., does not make it to Miami until 2 p.m. due to flight schedules and time zone differences. The paper tried to avoid the time delay with a plan to print a special edition at the Scripps-owned Naples (Fla.) Daily News but reports that technical problems nixed the plan.
The Post, which goes to bed earlier than the News, uses an early-morning charter flight to ship several thousand complete papers to Miami and, aided by a distribution partnership with The Miami Herald, moves them to more than 100 locations, including hotels, gift shops, and the media center, by about 11:30 a.m., Botelho says.
Across the country, the Journal/Constitution has spent the past week providing papers to the gaggle of press gathered in Miami. On Thursday, Jan. 28, it started sending between 1,500 and 2,000 papers per day to Miami and Fort Lauderdale via charter flights, says Dick Huguley, vice president for circulation. Like the Denver Post, the Journal/Constitution has a distribution deal with the Miami Herald. The Herald is also offering a joint buy ? a Journal/Constitution and the Herald for a package price. In another marketing move, the Journal/Constitution is delivering 2,000 papers per day to Delta Airlines for riders on its 21 daily flights to Florida and another 1,500 papers to Air Tran, which has been running 11 daily flights to Florida during the lead up to Super Bowl Sunday.
As E&P went to press, the News planned to have 15 to 20 hawkers pushing the Denver tabloid at Miami's Pro Player Stadium on game day. The Post, again aided by its deal with the Herald, planned for 80 to 100 hawkers at the stadium, pushing more than 10,000 papers. Huguley says plans called for the Herald hawkers to also offer the Journal/Constitution on game day.
Johnson concedes the News is "investing heavily" in its Super Bowl marketing, including the daily drops to Miami. Adds McGarry, "It creates good will and a marketing benefit."
Botelho acknowledges it requires "a healthy investment," but says the Miami melee is part of the Denver newspaper battle: "It's an expense of doing business in this kind of a competitive climate. It's just another chapter of the war."
?(Editor& Publisher Web Site: http://www.mediainfo. com) [Caption]
?(copyright: Editor & Publisher January 30, 1999) [Caption]

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