SLC Weekly Goes for Olympic Gold

Games will boost the bottom line

The Winter Olympics starting Feb. 8 will give Salt Lake City Weekly a great start in 2002.

Publisher John Saltas says he expects a 20 percent circulation boost in the next couple of months with the bottom line helped along by a 10 percent increase in ad rates for the five Olympic issues.

The weekly is also producing its first City Guide, which has helped grab some lucrative national advertising. The four-color glossy Guide will have an estimated 100,000 circulation and 100 pages, and is now planned for annual production.

“Anheuser-Busch is a major Olympic sponsor, and Budweiser will have a presence in our five Olympic issues and guide,” says Saltas.

“It’s a boon for the first two months of the year, which are historically dreadful,” Saltas says. “The City Guide alone will ensure that we have a positive first quarter.”

Saltas says even more money is being tossed around at the Winter Games than the Summer Games because they attract a wealthier group of enthusiasts, willing and able to pay exorbitant prices for rentals and other services during the games.

As for coverage, Saltas is taking no prisoners despite the presence of an estimated 15, 000 accredited journalists expected to swarm over the city and the Olympic venues.

“The dailies did the who, when and what. Like always, we have done and will do the why,” Saltas says. “There’s still a lot of the scandal that did not just go away; [it’s] just hidden for a little while. We intend to do some of our continuing coverage regarding the Olympic scandal during the games. The risk of sitting on stories is that someone else will get a scoop.”

However, Saltas says they don’t plan to create a temporary Olympic beat, although they may do some “cultural” coverage. “Who are all these strangers and what they think of our town? … Who are these people with no tans and funny hats?”