Published on Thursday, 24 March 2011 09:04
Beginning tomorrow, Sun-Times Media Holdings LLC, the parent company of the Chicago Sun-Times, will begin branding all of its many newspapers as part of one brand name. The numerous suburban newspapers that Sun-Times Media publishes will begin adding a logo and the words "An edition of the Chicago Sun-Times" to the top of each of the newspapers.
The daily newspapers that will now become branded as an extension of the Chicago Sun-Times are: The Beacon-News, The Courier-News, The Herald-News, The Lake County News-Sun, The SouthtownStar, and The Post-Tribune, as well as the three-times per week paper, The Naperville Sun. Additionally, the 31 suburban weeklies from the Pioneer Press will now carry the Chicago Sun-Times branding in its masthead. The names of the papers will remain and continue to be the main focus of the mastheads.
The suburban newspapers' newsrooms will continue to work independently and no immediate internal changes will be happening to the newspapers. The change is merely cosmetic at first glance. The true reason behind the change is for advertising purposes.
The Audit Bureau of Circulations -- a non-profit, independent organization that provides accurate audits of print circulation, readership and website activity for the newspaper industry -- made a change recently that will allows newspapers with identical ownership in the same market area to combine their circulations as a group. By the Sun-Times unifying its brand on all of the suburban papers, it can now report an average daily circulation of around 430,000, instead of just reporting the Chicago Sun-Times' individual circulation of around 250,000.
The larger circulation number opens up all of the newspapers in the group for additional advertising revenue from big national accounts.
Rick Surkamer, President and Chief Operating Officer of Sun-Times Media said yesterday: "Reporting a combined circulation number will finally allow us to show the total depth and breadth of our reach in the Chicago area."
Newspaper groups in other markets have already experimented with the united branding and combined circulation reporting, finding it to be a successful way to raise revenues.