Thursday, October 18, 2007

Three home delivery models emerge

When it comes to home delivery, the free daily industry now has three business models:
    • The newest approach is being pioneered by the Mesa, Arizona, East Valley Tribune (see items below and above), which is now giving away papers in racks and retail locations instead of charging readers. The free paper is all local and tabloid sized. The Tribune is still charging home subscribers, but they are getting a larger paper that, in addition to the all-local tabloid section, includes sections for sports, world/national news, features and comics.

    • The new Mount Airy, N.C. paper, The Messenger, is taking the opposite approach — delivering papers to homes for free but charging 50 cents at retail and rack locations.

    • And then there are five free dailies that are delivering papers to all homes in certain areas, whether requested or not by the homeowner. The five (we know about) are the Examiners in Washington, San Francisco and Baltimore, and The Greensburg Tribune-Review in suburban Pittsbugh, Pennsylvania, and Today's Local News in northern San Diego County.
In a year or two, we should go back and look to see which approach was most successful.