Al Día Converts to Controlled Circulation for Single Copy

Al Día (Dallas/Ft. Worth) will move to a controlled distribution model for its single copy circulation effective Monday, January 23. It can be picked up by consumers for free at all retail and rack locations throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Home delivery subscriptions will continue to be available on a paid basis.

Mike Cano, General Manager of Al Día talked to Portada®.

Q: Does this mean "victory" of the free newspaper versus paid newspaper concept?

A: “We obviously don't think of it in terms of a victory or loss for one model vs. another. In fact, you'll note that we've retained the paid model for our home delivery base. Instead, the decision for us was whether we believed we could reach more consumers on a consistent and long-term basis with our award-winning product, and in turn bring this audience to our advertising partners.”

Q: What was the main factor in order to go to controlled circulation for single copy?

A: “Multiple and converging factors led to the decision. First, Spanish-language media including radio, television, and now many Spanish-language dailies, operate in a primarily free environment. Second, this industry trend is supported by consumers, who have multiple media choices in the market, most of it free, and want the cost to be borne by the advertisers that are targeting them. Third, this industry trend is increasingly supported by advertisers who want have indicated that controlled audited circulation is welcome in correlation with increased exposure, readership, and response to advertising. We believe this move will allow us to gain both consumer and advertiser market share and does bring the benefit of aligning the payment/incentive structures and operational processes for independent distribution contractors for multiple products of The Dallas Morning News.”

Q: Do you think you will gain advertisers as a result of this change?

A: “It is no accident that we have consistently exceeded our goals. We have worked very hard to earn the trust of our advertisers on a daily basis. While we are not aware of any particular advertisers that will join us specifically because of the change, we do expect that many advertisers will benefit as a result. The Dallas Morning News and Al Día discussed the option of controlled single-copy with key advertisers and agencies in multiple industries/categories including telecommunications, finance, technology, retail, grocery, media, automotive, and packaged goods whom in general indicated that controlled audited circulation is welcome in correlation with increased exposure, readership, and response to advertising.”

Q: Will this result in an increase in circ. What is the new single copy home delivery breakdown?

A: “We do plan growth of over 5% in 2006 vs. 2005, as a combination of both increases in home delivery and single copy. We do not disclose circulation projections by category but ABC guidelines require a 50/50 split for single copy and home delivery, which is good news for our advertisers because they will be reaching a good mix of newspaper media consumers.”

Q: How many home delivered paid subscriptions does Al Día have?

A: “Al Día's home delivery is a combination of paid and complimentary subscriptions, and the paid portion is steadily increasing. We have multiple stand-alone programs in place to increase the retention and acquisition of home delivery subscribers. In addition, we believe there is a significant opportunity for combination subscriptions along with The Dallas Morning News, and we will explore this in 2006.”