EO Media Group
It’s been three months since we doubled the frequency of the Seaside Signal — now publishing every week instead of every other week, and asking for $1 an issue at the newsstand instead of giving it away. At the same time, The Daily Astorian became The Astorian, delivered three days a week by mail.
So how’s that working for us?
Thanks to our readers, advertisers and employees, most of the time it’s working really well.
The Seaside Signal has received a lot of compliments for our weekly coverage, and R.J. Marx and our correspondent team have done a good job of filling weekly pages with news unique to Seaside. So much so that people who don’t subscribe now pay for a newspaper that used to be free. Even though we’ve been shorthanded this summer looking for an advertising representative for our Seaside office, our Astoria sales staff, including Sarah Silver-Tecza, our advertising sales manager, have done a good job of filling the gaps with advertising.
As for the Astorian, we are selling an average of 98 more copies a day in stores and racks than we did three months ago. Plus we have 29 more digital subscriptions than we did on May 7.
Our advertising is up over the same time last year at the Astorian, and our expenses are significantly reduced with the changed delivery and schedule. Three days a week, mail delivery has proven to be a good business model for the Astorian.
So what does that mean? Why should you care?
The Seaside Signal added local news to be delivered every week. The Astorian did not cut staff or reduce local news content when publishing was reduced from five days to three weekly issues.
Is it important for you to know how your public officials are dealing with building heights, traffic issues, homelessness and vacation rentals? You bet it is. That’s why we pay our reporters to go to public meetings, research the documents and interview affected people on local issues, so you can learn the facts to make decisions on voting, shopping and living here.
What about the latest entertainment, your kids’ school activities, the Seaside Gulls summer baseball season? We pay reporters to cover those things too.
Our team works daily, and posts news online daily. In fact, our traffic to seasidesignal.com last month was over 18,000 users and 50,000 page views. Because we are members of news sharing organizations Associated Press, Tribune Regional News Service, and EO Media’s owned newspapers, the Seaside Signal and the Astorian news goes far beyond just our county. If you’ve ever wondered why a story you read in print or online from the Seaside Signal or the Astorian was on Portland TV, it’s because it was first reported in our pages and picked up from us through a news sharing agreement. That’s how news published here can impact the rest of the state, Northwest, even the nation.
Those reporters and pages, print and online, are paid for with advertising and subscriptions. Your subscription dollars help pay for local journalism to be delivered to you. The bulk of our revenue, however, comes from advertising. Local businesses reach you, our readers, with their information by buying ads in print, online, social media and email from the Seaside Signal and the Astorian. Advertising helps our local businesses prosper by growing their sales and customer base, and that helps keep locals employed producing our news products.
The other revenue for our business comes from printing other regional news. The Astorian serves as the regional printing facility for newspapers in the Lower Columbia region, including the Columbia Press in Warrenton, Hipfish, The Tillamook Headlight Herald, North Coast Times in Manzanita, Cannon Beach Gazette, News Guard in Lincoln City, Clatskanie Chief, St. Helens Chronicle and most recently added, the Wahkiakum Eagle. Of course we print EO Media Group owned newspapers too, The Astorian, Chinook Observer, Seaside Signal, and Columbia River Business Journal. As other printing facilities in Tacoma, Olympia, Centralia and Longview have closed, we’ve made a commitment to provide small newspapers a high-quality printing facility by investing in a new press tower and upgraded distribution equipment.
That’s a long way of saying that’s why we think it’s important to make good business decisions at the Signal and the Astorian. Our mission remains the same as it has since 1873 — a commitment to relevant, credible local news and information for our readers, and the belief that a well-informed public keeps our community strong. We plan to continue to employ local journalists, customer service and production staff for many years to come.
Please contact me with questions or comments at email@example.com, or mail to 949 Exchange Street, Astoria.
I look forward to hearing from you.