Santa Clara Focus – Opinion

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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.

 

 

5 comments

  1. It’s good of you to stick up for the employees. But the paper has a duty to be honest with its advertisers. They have employees, too, you know. If this paper is sham, businesses should know about it. Most businesses in America are small and operate on thin margins. They can’t afford to waste money on advertising to 100 people.

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    • That is their private business practice. They can do what they want with their advertisers. Note, I believe the question might be “paid” subscribers, as there are thousands of copies of the paper, as many as 40,000 printed on a given week. I am not privy on their advertising contracts, pricing or how they sell advertising. Advertisers, such as political candidates (you can easily look up how much candidates spent on advertising on Form 460s) have a right to purchase advertising in the Santa Clara Weekly. In my opinion, there are better, more effective methods for advertising and reaching customers. But for some, who have advertised for years, it is a great platform for them. Remember, advertising is a tax write off … To those who purchase ads, all the better, something needs to pay for the time and efforts of the Weekly employees! I don’t agree with the ethcis and principles involved, but those writers, photographers and staff do need to get paid, and advertising is the revenue stream that pays their salaries.

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    • Readers can decide that. Just answering some questions. I won’t share more than this, but I think people deserve answers. My focus is on news in Santa Clara – unfortunately with this election, people want to talk about the Santa Clara Weekly, as well as the rash of political muck happening. Santa Clara deserves better, from everyone … this is such a wild election cycle.

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