Regular readers of the Standard-Examiner's print edition may have noticed something different about last Saturday's newspaper.
It was bigger.
The newspaper had a lot more ads, which determine the size of the print paper, so consequently, a lot more news content than a normal Saturday.
The paper was what we called a "Bonus Day" edition. On this particular day we printed up 50,000 more papers than normal and distributed them to non-subscriber households in the Top of Utah. The increased circulation made the paper more attractive to advertisers hoping to reach more potential customers on a single Saturday.
The Bonus Day was just one part of a big weekend for the newspaper and its readers.
Along with the boosted content Saturday, we also produced special sections on Sunday and Monday. The special publication Sunday was our regular advance look at the upcoming fall conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which takes place this weekend. This year the focus was on volunteerism in the church.
The Monday publication was a first-time guide to outdoor recreation in the Top of Utah.
Both sections were well-received from readers and advertisers, which is exactly the goal when newspapers put out special sections.
Because of the workload in producing and distributing all this extra stuff for you, we actually had to push back another special publication originally scheduled to run last Sunday until later in the week. The "Spooktacular" guide and calendar of area Halloween activities this month ran in Thursday's paper instead.
As part of Bonus Day, the newsroom made an extra effort to produce additional stories and photos of interest to readers in south Davis and Box Elder county. These were areas where the most non-subscriber households are located in our print circulation area. We plan to expand with additional coverage now in these areas.
Overall, the Bonus Day was a big success, both in reach and revenue. The one-day edition alone produced five times the number of ads of a normal Saturday.
CAVEAT EMPTOR: For those who rely on digital reviews of businesses while shopping, beware. A cottage industry of fake reviews is booming. Businesses have been contracting with services that hire writers to pen and post fake reviews on popular review-oriented websites like Yelp, Google Citysearch and Yahoo. The problem has gotten so out of hand that New York regulators recently conducted a year-long investigation that resulted in fines being levied against 19 companies and many of the clients who hired them to produce fake reviews.
"What we've found is even worse than old-fashioned false advertising," Eric T. Schneiderman, New York's attorney general, told the New York Times. "When you look at a billboard, you can tell it's a paid advertisement -- but on Yelp or Citysearch, you assume you're reading authentic consumer opinions, making this practice even more deceiving."
Andy Howell is executive editor. He can be reached at 801-625-4210 or firstname.lastname@example.org.