Sunday, May 13, 2007

Free daily reaches Pittsburgh suburbs

A lot of paid dailies have TMCs, weekly newspapers mailed to non-subscribers that give the paper "total market coverage." The Greensburg Tribune-Review, located in suburban Pittsburgh, has since 2001 has taken the TMC concept further by delivering an afternoon daily to the doorsteps of residents in selected Zip codes.

The Tribune-Review, owned by philanthropist and conservative Richard Mellon Scaife, has for years been battling the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette, owned by the Block Family, owners of the Toledo Blade.

Editor & Publisher magazine says that the Tribune-Review's afternoon paper, Trib p.m., began at the start of the Iraq war, when one of the paper's correspondents was embedded with the Marines iand the other was in northern Iran with the Kurds. Their reports often arrived too late for the deadlines of the morning Tribune-Review, so the paper began printing a 7,000-circulation extra with room for their stories.

"It was a great way to test a tab and the afternoon market," Tribune-Review CEO Ralph Martin told E&P.

Now 34,000 copies of the afternoon paper are delivered to homes and it is drawing new advertisers the morning Tribune-Review wasn't getting, such as local retailers and restaurants. "We have been able to get a lot of those street-level merchants we were not able to get before," says Hooper.

Who else is delivering a free daily to homes? Billionaire oilman Phil Anschutz is delivering his conservative Examiner newspaper to homes in San Francisco, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The E&P article says Copley "tried and failed" with its Today's Daily News in northern San Diego County, although we called a representative of that paper who said they continue to publish five days a week (Tuesday-Saturday) and continue to deliver 75,000 papers to homes in Carlsbad, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos and Vista, Calif. The article also includes in the free home-delivered category the OC Post, which was started by the Orange County (Calif.) Register last August. But the OC Post is a paid newspaper -- it costs 25 cents or $19.95 annually for home delivery.