Several times this year RN has asked Newspaper Publishers Association chairman Mike Newman about late deliveries and each time he has said, in effect, there isn’t a problem.
This week, though, he admitted for the first time that there is an issue with distribution and high-level talks are taking place to address it. This admission is down to two factors. The industry cannot ignore the 100 or so of you who have called our re-run hotline in the past month to say you will no longer stand for your papers being delivered at an unacceptable time.
Also, for the past two weeks we have also been directing your cases to the Press Distribution Forum to ensure your complaints are logged in the fast track resolution service.
A second piece of evidence that our campaign is working came on Tuesday, when a leading roundsman called to say the message got through to the two publishers he met with this week.
Quality service, a summary of the previous days’ news and a crossword are far more important to HND customers than overnight headlines, he said. Readers don’t want their paper late because the editor included the first hour’s cricket coverage. They had probably already read the whole day’s play on the internet. The same could be said for most newspaper buyers.
Bringing forward press deadlines and giving retailers a product to sell at a good time is far more likely to secure the long-term health of the category than holding out for overnight news and giving 40,000 retailers nothing to sell during peak trading hours.
RN readers are central to enforcing change. The results of these high-level meetings will show in the time you get your papers. So don’t let up the pressure and keep calling our re-run hotline.