The current financial woes are making everyone look again at long-established practices across their industries, and here’s one cost-cutting development in the publishing world with an airline impact. The UK’s Guardian News & Media group (GN&M), publisher of the The Guardian and the Sunday weekly The Observer amongst others, has decided to abandon the distribution of “bulks“, papers that are given to hotels and airlines for a nominal fee and offered to readers for free. Newspaper publishers use the bulks to tempt new readers for the papers, and around 12,000 and 20,000 copies of The Guardian and The Observer respectively will be stripped out under the move by GNM
“In short, dropping this traditional and, in our view, outmoded practice is a win-win move,” says GN&M director and general manager for newspapers Joe Clark. “We hope that others will follow our lead.” So the question is will others follow suit, and if so, what does this mean for complimentary broadsheet newspapers on board?
For more on the bulk issues facing UK newspapers, check out these links from mediaweek and a blog by UK newspaper commentator Roy Greenslade.