It’s not easy trying to be a newspaper monopsonist

by on January 7, 2017 at 12:35 am in Economics, Uncategorized | Permalink

At first, Joseph Talbot was charged with DUI.  Then he undertook a plan:

As the Times of Wayne County was distributing its weekly edition on Saturday, Holdraker started receiving calls from newsstands that a man — Talbot, according to Holdraker — was buying up all the copies of the paper. “We got in the car and restocked newsstands as far as we could,” says Holdraker, noting that he prints only 350 extra copies per week.

Some helpful numbers: Talbot’s extra-newspaper purchases, according to Holdraker, were limited to the village of Newark. There, he gobbled up about 900 to 1,000 copies at $1.25 a pop from at least eight places. Surely the outlays suppressed the news to some degree. However: The Times of Wayne County has a circulation of just north of 12,000, a number that consists of newsstand sales and subscription via mail (about 5,000, says Holdraker). So the buy-up plan addressed barely one-twelfth of the newspaper’s print distribution.

And, this being about 20 years after the rise of newspaper websites, there was another means of circulation as well. The Times of Wayne County, says Holdraker, puts its top news stories on its site without restriction. As to whether this particular story qualified for this status, Holdraker says, “It wasn’t gonna be, but obviously he pushed it.”

That is via Jack Shafer and Clive DavisThe article has other humorous points of interest.  Perhaps this is a new business model for media looking to expand their print sales?

1 Thanatos Savehn January 7, 2017 at 1:15 am

TC has until 8 AM today to wire 1 meeeeelion dollars into my Bahamian account or I will publish, online, pics of him and Marta the Orian slave girl tongue wrastlin’ under a purple tree on a planet far, far away.

2 Thiago Ribeiro January 7, 2017 at 5:00 am

She told me she wasn’t seeing anyone…

3 Free Hat January 7, 2017 at 1:57 am

Talbot is clearly innocent:

The complaint isn’t even grammatically correct:
following a vehicle and [being] all over the road and for failing to keep right and moving from lane unsafely.

Are we supposed to believe an officer who can’t write the English language perfectly? Of course not. Free the Talbot one!

4 prior_test2 January 7, 2017 at 2:36 am

‘Perhaps this is a new business model for media looking to expand their print sales?’

Nope – Peter Thiel put a stake through the heart of this media business model by destroying Gawker – though being a front man for Thiel in legal proceedings might be a good business model.

Hard as this might be to imagine, print is dead. As witnessed by how our president elect prefers to communicate to most of his fellow citizens

5 Clc January 7, 2017 at 5:14 am

There are already websites publicizing arrests and other embarrassing info. They’ll gladly remove your info for a couple hundred bucks. Theil doesn’t give a shit about them.

6 anon January 7, 2017 at 5:04 am
7 RustySynapses January 7, 2017 at 7:15 am

If any of these were vending machines (news boxes), wouldn’t he just need to put in $1.25 and take the whole stack of papers? (not that that’s ok, but I bet that’s what he did)

8 Thiago Ribeiro January 7, 2017 at 7:27 am

It would a most dishonorable thing to do, which should be enough to prevent him from doing so.

9 The other jim January 7, 2017 at 8:07 am

And now he’s on MR.

Perfect example of The Streisand Effect.

10 Ignacio January 7, 2017 at 8:33 am

Years ago, the then-owner of Chile’s biggest supermarket chain (which was later acquired by Walmart) had some of the supermarket employees go and buy every edition of a newspaper that was reporting that he beat his wife (it was true; they later divorced). The newspaper actually tried publishing the story a few times, and this guy bought almost every issue each time. I am not sure why the newspaper did not keep publishing the story; they would have sold a lot more papers.

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