Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Free daily planned for Cape Cod

Here's one from the I-wish-I-had-thought-of-that department: GateHouse Media New England will launch a free, seasonal daily on Cape Cod that will start in June and end on Labor Day.

The new publication, Cape Cod Day, will publish Tuesday through Saturday and will be distributed free across Cape Cod at hundreds of locations with an average daily distribution of 25,000, according to announcement posted on the company's WickedLocal website.

“The focus on the new daily paper will specifically target the tens of thousands of summer visitors, as well as vacationing Cape Codders, who enjoy this beautiful place we get to call home year-round,” said Mark Skala, publisher of GateHouse Media’s Cape Cod region. “The editorial focus of Cape Cod Day will be to produce fun, informative stories and resources for readers such as local news, things to do with the family, arts and entertainment features, and stories that highlight the people, businesses and natural beauty of the Cape environment.

“This is a paper produced by Cape Codders who call Cape Cod home and want to offer visitors and tourists a glimpse of the Cape through our perspective,” said Skala. “This new free daily will also be an affordable alternative to advertisers, and to readers who don’t want to spend $1 a day for a newspaper.”

Gate House already publishes a number of weekly papers in the area, and the new paper will be produced out of its newsroom in Orleans.

Within hours of the company’s internal announcement about the planned launch, Skala said the sales force had already booked front page ads with local Cape Cod businesses for the entire 11-week print run.

“The initial response so far to Cape Cod Day has been incredibly positive and encouraging,” said Skala. “People are hungry to have an alternative source for news, information and a new, affordable opportunity for local businesses to advertise.”

The concept has been tested before. In Portsmouth, N.H., Ottaway Newspapers has published a summer-only, five-day-a-week paper, the Daily Beachcomber, for the past two seasons, Editor & Publisher points out.