Friday, February 17, 2006

Western Slander

So the news is that Western Slander editor publisher Ezra LeRant has sent a begging letter via email asking subscribers to help bail out the magazine due to the economic crunch it is facing because advertisers and distributors are pulling out. Now why would that be do ya think? See here. Simon Pole asks; Western Standard Cash Crunch?

Well that never mattered to the Alberta Report, in fact they thrived on controversy it got them more subscribers. Which was always a matter of using that good old fashioned ad rag technique of cold calling subscribers and brow beating them to take out a sub.

Now that is how many an ad rag, you call them the Alternative weeklies in your city, or the niche press, or whatever, they are those free rags you see which are 80% ads and 20% content. Well that's how the business is done.

And Alberta Report did it by dropping copies in dentist and doctors offices, free of charge, just cold mailing free subs to them and so could prop up their publication numbers. Then they had the call centres doing cold calls for subs.

And despite three bankruptcies, one bail out by the Alberta Venture Capital Fund (yep you and me taxpayer) they still collapsed but that was after a record thirty years in business. A lot of ad rags collapse well before that. Though in Alberta the Report was not alone in its longevity, many of Moser Communications publications have lasted that long including his Native News.

I don't think this hail Mary pass by Lerant to save the Slander when Air Canada has dropped the mag, which is the Slanders version of the doctors and dentists office, will amount to much. The Slander is too young to lose distribution and ad business so early in its short publishing existence. Subscribers do not make up the shortfall never did never will, they are actually an ongoing expense. You need a call centre team doing both advertisers and subscribers, and ads bring in more money.

And for the heat he has brought on himself and his rag, well more folks will shy away with advertising, which is the real source of $$$$$$ that these kinds of rags survive on. Without which the publisher/editor doesn't get paid. So Ezra really is begging for his job. Delicious. And no amount of subscribers can keep the Slander afloat it didn't work for Alberta Report it won't for Ezra.

Also see

Standard Western Racism

The World According to Adam

Conservative Conundrum

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