Advocate Weekly Combines Two Papers

Westchester County Weekly will fold into Fairfield County Weekly

Advocate*Weekly Newspapers announces in a memo to all staff that it will fold its Westchester County Weekly into the Fairfield County Weekly, creating one 80,000-circulation newsweekly serving New York City’s northern suburbs.

Fran Zankowski, CEO and group publisher of Advocate*Weekly Newspapers, tells AAN News that the combined paper will use the Westchester County Weekly nameplate on the 30,000 copies circulating in Westchester County, N.Y., making a cover-plate change at the printer.

“The readers in Westchester will still have their own paper, but the content will be the same as in Fairfield County Weekly,” Zankowski says.

Following is the text of the memo sent to the entire staff of Advocate*Weekly Newspapers, which also includes the Hartford Advocate, the New Haven Advocate, and the Valley Advocate:

From: Fran Zankowski

Re: Westchester County Weekly

After eight-plus years (the paper was launched in August 1993) this week’s edition of the Westchester County Weekly will be its last as a separate publication. Next week it will be combined with the Fairfield County Weekly to make one 80,000 circ. newspaper. I would like to thank everyone who assisted, produced, created and infused the Westchester County Weekly with their energy. It was a valiant attempt made by some really terrific people.

As many of you know, we have struggled to make the Westchester County Weekly profitable. While it was well received by its loyal readers, it never gained the level of advertising support necessary to grow into its own stand-alone paper. After having sustained losses these past few years, and with no believable forecast predicting profits for many, many years to come, the decision to merge the two papers became inevitable. We had done this previously with the combining of the Springfield Advocate and the Valley Advocate back in 1998, to much great success. Hopefully we will be able to repeat that scenario with Fairfield and Westchester.

We will be grandfathering all current contracted Fairfield and Westchester display and classified rates. Any new customers should be brought in at the Fairfield/Westchester combo rate (80,000 circulation) through the end of this year. In 2002 circulation will be pulled back to a 60,000-rate base.

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