City of Glen Rose (TX) Feb 09- About the Official NewspaperSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


City of Glen Rose (TX) Feb 09- About the Official Newspaper

10 February 2009 at 10:36:51 AM

Went to the City of Glen Rose Town Council meeting last night. Will be putting up some audio and selected video clips of some of it today and tomorrow. I was interested to see how the City of Glen Rose picked its official newspaper for the next year. Now, admittedly, I am somewhat biased, because I subscribe to the Glen Rose Reporter newspaper, have for years, and would naturally like to be able to read any official notices in the paper I pay for. I am also not a fan of the other newspaper for various reasons. So you have to watch the following and understand that at least part of my reaction is due to some selfishness on my part. For background, here's what happened last year.

Last month I went to the meeting and was surprised to see almost no discussion of which newspaper would be best. Neither paper presented before the City, but I have heard that instead, the City decided to take sealed bids which presumably would have had their rates and other information relative to merits.

IF it is true that the city took sealed bids, no one from the Town Council opened them before people, at least not that I saw.  In the commissioner's court, when they have bids, they open them in open court and log them in, so that there could be full transparency about the bids. Maybe it's not a requirement to have to do this if you're a municipality.

And I also didn't see any discussion of what was in those bids last night. I've said before that some years back I used to sell advertising for a local newspaper near Houston, so I'm fairly familiar with comparing display ads (which charge by column inch) and classifieds (which can charge either by the word or paragraph, but also would have a way to do some comparisons). I was interested to see how much the two newspapers charged for their advertising in those two categories. But it wasn't discussed. Neither paper did any type of presentation, although it looked like both were prepared to do so. I would also think another consideration would be to compare the circulation numbers, both from the newsstand as well as subscribers. And publicly. No discussion. Personally, I would want to go with the paper that was going to reach more people and was cheaper. But who can know which paper might have fit that criteria, as the process was not open.

Here's what DID happen.

Barbara Mitchell said she had needed help getting advertising for the Food Bank. His and Hers Salon has generously called for donations to help out the bank and I applaud that wholeheartedly and think she is a wonderful person for stepping up and doing that. She liked it that she got the ad for free from the other newspaper. "I feel that the Rose has been more involved in our community".  Chris Bryant looked at how the newspaper looked at the community and free advertising for charitable organizations. He said he didn't know the pricing because "If one is listed per column and one is listed per inch, it's hard to balance out the difference" and then he talked about the article about gas prices.". Then they all took their vote and voted unanimously to keep the Glen Rose newspaper the paper of choice for the coming year.

Now, I've already said that I like the Glen Rose Reporter newspaper better and if I was a Town Council member, I could have spoken up and said why, personally, I thought I'd like to see it based on feelings like I like this article or that. Or that I've gotten free ads or whatever. Or that I wish one paper over the other had been more of a partisan for pushing my favorite agendas. (I also note that one of the reporters for the other paper spoke out for Bryant to get a raise last year, which seemed inappropriate, but surely having that paper be an advocate was heart-warming. Listen at about 4:16).   I don't disagree with the idea that people have preferences about the paper they like to read. But it seems to me that, when a council ship is making decisions, not just for themselves but for the benefit of all the citizens they represent, that looking into the other considerations I mentioned ought to trump personal opinions. Were it me, I'd want to know which paper would cost the taxpayers less and which had greater circulation and subscriber ship. And right now, who knows?

It also is not that tough to figure out column inches. Yesterday, I wanted to put an ad in one paper and Hub wanted to put one in the other, which I do not put ads in. We noticed, after the fact, that the Glen Rose Reporter was charging us $4.00 per column inch and the other was charging $4.75 per column inch. Let me explain how easy it is to figure this out , and not just because I used to sell advertising. The Glen Rose Reporter has 6 columns across, for example, so if you wanted an ad that ran 2 columns across by 3 inches down, you multiple 6 (which is 2x3)  x 4.00 which will show you the price. If I was on the city council and couldn't figure out how to calculate column inches, I would ask someone (heck, if you just use The Google, you can find plenty of step by step examples on how to calculate rates in newspapers).

Anyway, Mygnonne, who is always very professional and friendly, has graciously put me on a mailing list to receive the agenda for the meetings, and I greatly appreciate it.

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