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Duluth News Tribune’s Viking-Packer marketing stunt

So you think your local daily has gone a little ga-ga over sports lately, splashing it all over the front page with increasing regularity?

They’ve got nothing on the Duluth News Tribune, which today printed half its front pages in Vikings purple, and half in Packers green.

Here’s the Vikings one — if you click on the image, you can see a small version the Packers front page in the lower left:

It’s all in good fun, obvious water-cooler material, but it’s also a sugar high for a circ-challenged paper.

Last week, I noted that the News Tribune had probably fallen to #4 in the state, behind the Rochester Post-Bulletin. That was confirmed via the paper’s own business blog last week, which essentially ratified a Perfect Duluth Day’s report.

According to New Tribune publisher Ken Browall, daily circulation has slipped from 38,753 in 2008 to 33,268 this year. That’s a 14 percent drop. Browall says most of the decline came from trimming distribution area; subscriptions within the “kept” zone fell 3 percent.

Trimming unprofitable outlying circulation areas is something many papers are doing, but it means a lot fewer Vikings and Packer fans up north saw the News Tribune’s version of fall colors.

[Hat tip: Editor & Publisher.]

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 10/05/2009 - 03:08 pm.

    Even the American Lung Association in Minnesota (full disclosure, my employer) is pulling a stunt for tonight’s game. The first 25 flex-fuel (E85) vehicles that show up at the Metrodome Gold Lot can park for free. It’s normally $30. We will be there to determine which vehicles qualify.

    We will likely do something like this at every home game from now on…

  2. Submitted by Beryl John-Knudson on 10/05/2009 - 04:03 pm.

    Reminds me a little of a “stunt” done for one highschool newspaper some years ago where the class was given free range use of an old print shop every week to put out our school paper.

    Print shop was one of those basement establishments off main steet where the office shelves were overstuffed with old catalogues and file cabinet had loose file papers protruding …a jammed-in place that reeked of the wonderful smell of printers ink.

    If I recall correctly, Pica Pete may have been the old printer’s name and he would graciously let us take over and play ‘newsroom’ for the day.

    Big guy school editor, Jimmy-Boy would stick his feet up on the the printer’s desk and jam on one of those green eye shades old Pica had hanging on a hook above the desk. This time it was a special issue , April Fool’s Day edition, so in some bizarre, proprietorial sense of takeover, we set the big press humming.

    Printer Pete always disappeared for the day…so we ran the pages through in black; then did a cover-over the initial text spraying with watery red ink as they rolled off the press armed with a number of tin insect spray cans conveniently purchased from the hardware store.

    The over-all effect was splendid; better than the two-tone job DNT did I betcha. But we were young, naive, inspired and Pica was not a corporate type. Still don’t remember who cleaned up the press…

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