San Diego print journalists beware. County residents appear to be losing at least some interest in daily newspapers.
North County Times,
which is based in Escondido and owned by Iowa-based Lee Enterprises, announced this month that its circulation has dropped 4.7 percent in weekday sales and 4.2 percent for Sunday sales from a year ago. The rate was calculated from the six-month period ending Sept. 30.
San Diego Union-Tribune,
which is owned by Copley Press, Inc. of La Jolla, reported numbers this month showing that its circulation rate has dropped for both weekday and Sunday sales during the same time period as the Times’ study.
The U-T reports that its weekday sales dropped 6.24 percent, while Sunday sales dropped 3.98 percent.
Translated into actual paper counts, the U-T reports a circulation count of 314,279 weekdays and 416,682 on Sundays. In contrast, the Times, which primarily contains content north of state Route 56 to the Riverside County border, reports its current circulation count is at 88,648 Monday through Saturday and 93,151 on Sundays.
Declining circulation rates at major newspapers has become a national trend, prompting some newspaper publishers to look elsewhere for revenue. At the U-T, greater attention is being given to the paper’s online version, which is being viewed more frequently than it was a year ago. At the Times, according to Lee Enterprises’ Web site, top priorities in 2006 will be to increase readership and circulation along with greater emphasis on strong local news, exercising careful cost control and acceleration of online growth.
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With Christmas right around the corner, holiday movie makers are poised to compete for the attention of hurried shoppers, overstimulated sightseers and exhausted party hoppers. One studio with a jump on the competition is Majestic LLC, which has employed a rather unusual and successful marketing campaign. “Christmas in the Clouds,” a romantic ensemble comedy with PG-rated screwball antics, premiered in California this month and is set to make its national debut Dec. 2. In addition to creating a buzz about the film’s unorthodox American Indian cast, the early release has been paired with a fund-raising push for public schools. Within the first two weeks of early release, more than $25,000 was raised for schools during special screenings throughout the state and more that has yet to be counted is piling up at local theaters, like the one in Westfield Horton Plaza, which is giving proceeds from general admission-goers minus a box office cut that goes directly to public schools.
“It’s an interesting business model and it is proving to be working,” said writer-director and co-producer Kate Montgomery, noting that O magazine and several other high-profile publications and reviewers have latched onto the project, providing free positive press coverage nationwide.
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Agencies throughout the county have plenty of reason to celebrate this month, having landed representation deals for everything from treatment centers to park and ride lots.
One of the most high-profile new clients for a San Diego company is Montreal-based Cirque de Soleil, which has hired C3Communications, Inc. to promote the North American return of “Quidam” in January at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Although not as glamorous as artfully skilled acrobats, Park & Ride Airport Parking, Inc. is counting on the Downtown-based Monger Co. to promote the parking group’s interest to the San Diego Unified Port District and the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.
Carlsbad-based PrintDepartment.com will extend its reach beyond county lines when it provides online printing and direct marketing services to new client John L. Scott Real Estate, which serves the areas of Washington, Idaho and Oregon.
One agency with double the reason to celebrate this month is Falcon Valley Group, which is based in Scripps Ranch. Falcon’s new clients are Anthony Carey, principal of Function First, and Casa Palmera. Function First is based in San Diego and provides therapeutic exercise programs designed to relieve chronic pain, while Casa Palmera is in Del Mar and specializes in eating disorder, addiction and pain management treatment programs.
Another agency with multiple reasons to celebrate this month is Bailey Gardiner, Inc., which has four new clients eager to create and implement branding, advertising and public relation programs. The new clients are a yet-to-be-named residential development in downtown Long Beach; Sea Country Homes, a Southern California builder; Paseo de Mission Hills, a luxury condo project in San Diego’s Mission Hills area; and the College of Business Administration at San Diego State University.
Terms of all the new client deals were not disclosed.
Send all media/marketing news to Jessica Long at firstname.lastname@example.org. She can also be reached at (858) 277-6359.