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'Post' unleashes bulldog in D.C.

A response to reader requests

In Washington, where the nation's high and mighty carefully weigh public opinion before making any major decisions, The Washington Post says reader demand spurred the recent launch of a Saturday bulldog edition of its Sunday paper. "This product addresses a lifestyle issue. We recognize that the single-copy buy is a planned purchase and readers wanted the features and advertising supplements on Saturday," said Tony Mineart, the Post's single-copy and retail sales director. "It was also driven by our retailers, who are telling us this is something they needed."

Both the Post and its crosstown rival, The Washington Times, have lost Sunday readers in the past year. The Post saw its Sunday circulation decline from 1,095,520 in March 1999 to 1,087,259 in March 2000, according to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations report. Over the same period, the Times' Sunday circulation also dropped, from 54,294 to 47,243.

The Post's new early edition -- which hit newsstands for the first time Saturday, July 15 -- had an initial press run of 22,000 that the Post hopes will grow to between 40,000 and 60,000 in the next year or so, Mineart said. He said bulldog copies initially are to be available only through local 7-Eleven stores, but will be expanded to other retail outlets within a few weeks.

The Post is following in the footsteps of many other major dailies, such as the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, the Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and The Miami Herald, which produce similarly early editions of their Sunday papers.

The Post bulldog edition is selling for the same $1.50 newsstand price as the regular Sunday paper. It is not being delivered to home subscribers. Mineart said home-delivery customers already get a portion of their Sunday papers delivered on Saturday. The Post's daily paper, which has a circulation of 812,000, costs 25 cents retail.

Executives at The Washington Times said they have no plans to offer an early Sunday edition. The Times' Sunday paper sells for $1 at newsstands, while its daily paper, like the Post's, costs 25 cents.

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Author:Strupp, Joe
Publication:Editor & Publisher
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 24, 2000
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