Wednesday, May 04, 2005

CNC launches new weekly in Plymouth

Herald Media goes head-to-head with Old Colony Memorial

Tomorrow (Thursday) the Community Newspaper Company will debut a new newspaper in Plymouth, going up against the Old Colony Memorial, the flagship weekly of MPG Communications which is 183 years old this week.

The focus of the new Plymouth Bulletin according to Editor Mark Skala "is on community content, more news people want to read about."

The Bulletin will launch with a 48-page broadsheet mailed to every household in town, over 17,000. CNC killed the Pennysaver in Plymouth and decided to go with a newspaper in that town instead. The first issue exceeded the advertising goals according to Skala.

The OCM circulation is around 10,000 according to Skala who says he's seen their latest ABC report, but Managing Editor in Chief Sarah Corbitt said their "distribution numbers stands at 16,000" and the newspaper was never stronger. She feels no threat by the CNC upstart in her 'hood. I remember Malcolm Hobbs at The Cape Codder saying the same thing after the launch of Cape Cod Chronicle in 1966. Go it goes...

"Happy Birthday to us," Corbitt said. "We began publishing on May 4, 1822. Our focus today is what it always has been: giving our readers the best possible newspaper we can. Today, in honor of our birthday, we debuted our new Village Life section, devoted to news and features from the 7 villages of Plymouth. We are very excited about this new initiative as we begin our 184th year."

Their first start-up but on a bad news day

CNC was developed by Fidelity Investment Co. in the 1980's. They eventually bought more than a hundred newspapers in eastern Massachusetts, shutting down some, folding others into regional editions like the Upper Cape Codder which replaced the Sandwich Broadsider and the Mashpee Messenger. The newspaper group was sold to the Herald Media Co. a few years ago.

The Plymouth Bulletin is the first start-up by the CNC staff, and it comes a day after Herald Media announced a forced buyout package to 52 editors, columnists, and other nonunion editorial employees as part of the newspaper's effort to cut labor costs by $7 million to pay for a recent libel suit judgement against the paper.

The Herald package offers two weeks of pay for every year of service up to 26 years, plus a $12,000 cash payment, according to Herald spokeswoman Gwen Gage.The Herald set a May 13 deadline for nonunion workers to apply for the buyouts. wb


At 6:31 PM, Blogger Jack said...

Always good to witness the birth of a newspaper, esp. one close to home. I'll keep my fingers crossed that the crew of the Bulletin, but they've got a helluva challenge. They are competing with The Old Colony Memorial, one of the best weeklies in the state (and one I covered Plymouth town government for back in the early '90s). The OCM has the added advantage of coming out twice weekly, compared to once a week for the Bulletin. Then again, the Bulletin is free and delivered by mail, which is sure to siphon away quite a few OCM readers.

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