By Max Heath, the National Newspaper Association

The newspaper industry is facing price increases three to four times inflation (more than 1.5 percent). It’s all the result of the U.S. Postal Service’s second attempt at an “exigent” increase. This time, the Postal Regulatory Commission granted the request, based on estimates of lost revenue from the recession only.

The 1.6 percent inflationary increase allowed by law was joined by the 4.3 percent exigent case, for an average 5.9 percent. But many price cells used by community newspapers go up 7 percent or more. Jan. 26 is the effective day.

Because the economy for newspapers and shoppers has yet to improve substantially in the wake of the 2008 Great Recession, many publishers will be seeking ways to save postage. Ironically, USPS and the PRC seem ignorant to the effect that many mailers will only reduce mailings to keep budgets stable. But Periodicals and shoppers, unless frequency is reduced, have little way to cut the number of mailings.

Tactics to trim the increase and save Periodicals postage

Convert distant mail subscriptions to electronic formats for those who will convert. Most newspapers have room to improve here.

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