Overall economic growth was more consistent in 2004 than 2003, rising at what many economists considered an "above-trend" level. When the final figures are in for the full year, 2004 will probably have an increase in Gross Domestic Product of about 4.4 percent. That is about a full percentage point above what many consider to be the underlying growth potential for the economy

Continue ReadingModest Ad Outlook for 2005

The trouble started in 1998, when the Chicago Sun-Times broke ground on a new printing press on the south side of Chicago. The start-up process was a "nightmare," the publisher said. The press malfunctioned, causing the paper to hit the streets late and leading to mass subscription cancellations.

Continue ReadingDailies Padded Circ Figures to Keep Ad Rates High

The summer of scandal in the newspaper circulation business has left advertisers and agencies worried about what could possibly be next. Most say they are placing increased scrutiny on audience statements and newspaper ad budgets, though they believe the power of the medium will protect it from any immediate advertiser backlash.

Continue ReadingDailies Struggle to Rebuild Confidence With Advertisers

The new issue of the Dig looks a lot like The Boston Phoenix, with bylines that are plays on the names of Phoenix staff writers. The Boston Globe Names columnists Carol Beggy and Mark Shanahan report that the parody is the latest episode in a dispute over advertising tactics (third item). Dig publisher Jeff Lawrence has challenged Phoenix publisher Stephen Mindich to a one-mile footrace on April 19, with the loser required to make a donation to charity. Mindich hasn't responded.

Continue ReadingBoston’s Weekly Dig Satirizes Its Larger Rival

Readers who are young (but not too young) and active attract peddlers of drink to alt-weeklies, and it shows in all the ads promoting liquor, beer and clubs. To compete with radio for those coveted ad dollars, some AAN papers cosponsor pub crawls, beer fests and jazz festivals—any event that involves good times and a bit to imbibe. Regional and national purveyors of alcohol are taking notice.

Continue ReadingAlcohol Fuels Alt-Weeklies’ Ad Revenues

Potential advertisers in alternative newsweeklies want to know not only how many people their promotions will reach but what types of people. How old? How educated? How rich? To supply answers, publishers of AAN papers rely on firms that do market comparisons and readership surveys. But, sometimes, research techniques don't quite deliver what publishers are looking for.

Continue ReadingAAN Publishers Seek Best Way to Identify Readers

Competition from behemoth discounters like Wal-Mart and free downloading of music from the Internet had the giant record retailer singing a sad song in court Monday. The 93-store chain based in West Sacramento, Calif., intends to keep operating its stores as it reorganizes, its chief executive tells Reuters.

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly Advertiser Tower Records Files for Bankruptcy