While large daily newspapers have been struggling, Oswego’s small daily paper is flourishing. One way it’s doing that is by sending out a new free product to some rural areas of the county.
Last May, households in Pulaski, Richland and Sandy Creek began finding more than the typical community shopper in their Saturday mail.
“It looks like a newspaper,” said Jon Spaulding, publisher of the Oswego Palladium Times. “It doesn’t look like a Shopper. It’s got a nice color presentation. It’s got local voices in it.”
Spaulding says they launched the free weekly edition based on surveys showing a void in local news.
“Its not like we started this product as ‘If we build it, they will come’,” said Spaulding. “We asked people ‘What do you want and we’ll build it’. And that was for both readers and advertisers.”
The Palladium-Times times weekly has quickly expanded to Mexico, Mapleview, Parish, Hastings and rural parts of Oswego. Spaulding says they’re not competing with themselves because while the daily’s circulation is up 20%, they can’t cost-effectively deliver a daily to many rural parts of the county.
“All we’re doing is providing them with a news product in an area where they really wanted something. Now they’re getting it for free. The only reason it’s free is because we have a strong advertising base that will support that,” he said.
Spaulding says they intend to keep on expanding the free weekly as long as they see support from readers and advertisers. Besides recently adding sports, classifieds and an opinion page, the weekly has also added a new position to the paper’s sales staff.