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Council to Consider Continuing to Support City’s New Newspaper

The City contracted with the College Park’s new newspaper “College Park Here and Now” for an initial five-month term for four pages of advertising space in each edition to place City announcements, Council actions, and information about upcoming City activities. As a community newspaper, the total advertising space cannot exceed 50 percent of the newspaper (the paper is 16 pages). The City’s initial contract for this advertising space was at the following rates: $6,500 for the first month; $6,000 for the second month; $5,500 for the third month; $5,000 for the fourth month; and $4,500 for the fifth month.

The newspaper anticipated that the monthly rate for this new contract would be much less than the average rate of $5,500 for the first five months. Small, local businesses are important advertisers for the College Park Here & Now—it contributes to the mission of building community and the paper’s rates are more affordable compared to other media. However, due to COVID-19’s impact on the business community, advertising revenue has significantly diminished. Many small businesses have closed, and most others are reducing expenditures.

Because of the reduced advertising revenue at this time, and the relatively fixed expenditures for producing, printing and mailing the newspaper, the College Park Here and Now is requesting the City pay $5,000 per issue for its ad space to ensure the paper’s continuation. The paper agrees that this rate will be reviewed after six months to determine if total advertising revenue has increased to a level that would enable the City’s rate to be reduced.

At this week’s meeting, the City Council will consider approving the request. Advertising in the newspaper was budgeted for $45,000 in the FY21 budget which would cover the cost through the end of the FY21 (June 30, 2021).

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