Nfld. & Labrador

Carbonear Compass ditching paid subscriptions in favour of free distribution

The Carbonear Compass is switching from paid subscriptions to free distribution in an effort to reach more readers and attract more advertising.

In cost-cutting move, office to close, staff to work out of homes; 1 position eliminated

The Carbonear Compass's location on Water Street will be closed July 6. Staff will work out of their homes as the paper moves from paid subscriptions to free distribution. (Google Maps)

The Carbonear Compass is switching from paid subscriptions to free distribution in an effort to reach more readers and attract more advertising.

"Rather than decreasing, we're actually increasing," Lizzie Cramm, the N.L. regional president of SaltWire Network, the company that owns the Conception Bay North newspaper.

We see it as our paper is evolving to increase our presence within the communities we serve.'- Lizzie Cramm

"We will be delivering to over 10,000 homes, so we're very excited about that. We see it as our paper is evolving to increase our presence within the communities we serve."

Cramm said the paper's current paid circulation is between 3,000 and 4,000 subscribers.

Boosting its circulation to over 10,000 — and making the paper's website "more robust" — will serve two main purposes, she said.

"It's going to get our advertisers, hopefully, very much engaged," she said.

"But more importantly, we're going to really get hyperlocal on the content. We will still be delivering and having our journalists and our reporters doing stories that are going to be very much focused on the area that that particular paper serves."

As the paper switches to free distribution — called "total market coverage," or TMC in the industry — SaltWire will start with the Carbonear-Bay Roberts-Harbour Grace area and plans to expand — up to 16,000 homes, said Cramm.

One job eliminated

The move will also mean the elimination of one job, said Cramm — the person who currently handles subscriptions.

"That particular job won't exist anymore, because it's free, so there's no money to come in through the door," said Cramm.

And soon that door won't be there anymore; in a cost-cutting move, the staff will no longer work out of the Compass's building on Carbonear's Water Street, but out of their homes, with Cramm saying the SaltWire will help employees set up home offices. The paper will continue to be printed in St. John's.

"The closing of the physical location is merely the result of having advanced technologies that afford us the opportunity to find us efficiencies within that new business model," she said.

Office building closing July 6

Cramm also said the Compass employee has been "made aware" of other jobs within the company.

"Whether she makes a decision to avail of those opportunities, that's totally their decision."

The first paper distributed under the new model will be the July 4 edition. The office will be closed July 6.

"We're excited about the opportunity to serve our communities better," said Cramm.

Staff at the Compass's Carbonear office directed inquiries to SaltWire.

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