Monday, April 28, 2008

Daily Sound starts home delivery


For more than two years the Santa Barbara Daily Sound has been free as long as one was willing to walk, pedal or drive to pick it up.
But as of this morning, you might be reading it over a cup of coffee in your bathrobe.
The free daily that now prints 9,000 papers Monday through Saturday landed on more than 350 doorsteps this morning, marking the beginning of the era of home delivery for the paper, which Editor and Publisher Jeramy Gordon said was the “natural next step.”

“This is a milestone,” he said. “From day one readers have been asking for home delivery and now, just two years later, we’ve done it.”
Gordon said he also hopes home delivery will bolster the paper’s viability by attracting more advertisers, which would then enable the paper to broaden its news coverage.
The drive for home delivery has been spearheaded in part by Daily Sound General Manager John Leonard, who has brought on a distribution staff of three.
The Daily Sound’s first edition was printed March 23, 2006 on a shoestring budget and with a skeleton crew. The paper hit racks throughout the South Coast that morning at eight pages and a circulation of 2,500.
The paper fattened slightly less than a month later when it grew to 12 pages. A mass resignation at the Santa Barbara News-Press in July 2006 evoked widespread community outrage and prompted Gordon to nearly double the Daily Sound’s circulation to 4,000 — a number that has steadily increased ever since.
Gordon, a former managing editor at the Palo Alto Daily News, said he developed a fondness for free daily newspapers in that role.
With newspapers across the country facing declines in advertising revenue and circulation due to the influence of the Internet, Gordon said he’s not worried about moving in what some see as the opposite direction of other papers.
He said the free daily model appeals to a wider variety of the population than larger daily papers and its tabloid format makes it easy to read on the go.
The Daily Sound has expanded its Web site in recent months, where much of the paper’s daily content can also be found for free.
At 25, Gordon seems an unlikely candidate to carry the torch for a news medium some say is dying. But Gordon resents the idea the print media is dying and believes it can thrive concurrently with the Internet.
“I’m a strong believer in the Internet,” he said. “I think it’s a very valuable tool, but I think print is in no way dead. It’s evolving; it’s always been evolving. … But death of print is just asinine.”
The Daily Sound will remain free at more than 300 locations. One year of home delivery costs $87.36 — $1.68 per week.
“Our intention is not to switch to a paid model, but rather offer a service to those who request it,” Gordon said. “Our readers have shown such amazing support for the paper, I hope that continues with home delivery.”

1 comment:

Vigilante said...

GR8! I'm subscribing!