By Robert Haugh
I’ve been receiving many questions about my past columns, with many people asking me personal and poignant questions about the Santa Clara Weekly, my time there and my future plans. I want to, and intend to write about other issues around town, but the Weekly seems to be on everyone’s minds these days and not in a positive way. So I’ll answer the questions that I keep getting asked.
Q: How do I get removed from getting the paper?
A: There is no formal procedure. Residents must call or email the Weekly with their address to be added to a “do not deliver” list. But they don’t really do anything with the info from my past experience. In some communities, there are anti-littering laws that prevent unsolicited delivery of materials to doorsteps. If enough people complained, the City Council may have to act with a similar ordinance. Depending on the election and citizen complaints, maybe this will become a priority at city hall next year.
Q: How many people actually read the Santa Clara Weekly?
A: This depends on the week, the content and advertising for the week. The Weekly scales back during the weeks that they don’t have much advertising and only delivers to part of the city. Marketing experts state that most unsolicited products have a one to two percent readership, so if there are 10-15,000 copies delivered door-to-door, it can be presumed that only 100 to 300 copies are actually read. Sources tell me that it’s the lower end of that scale these days. The actual subscriber list allegedly sits at around 90 people.
This leads to:
Q: How are they the most-read newspaper in Santa Clara?
A: That information came from a San Francisco 49ers survey in 2010. I was at the Weekly then. It can’t really be considered reliable, especially now. If anyone, like the Mercury News, challenged this claim, they’d likely win. In fact, it’s more accurate to say that the Weekly is the least-read newspaper in Santa Clara.
Robert Haugh’s column will appear on Tuesdays and Thursdays.