[QUOTE=niner007;149110]Is it that hard to print one more page?[/QUOTE]
Other than the obvious answer, which is that you have to print TWO more pages, front and back, here’s what it means:
Weekdays, when we print fewer papers, it costs about $750 to add a page to the paper. Weekends, it costs about $1000. Sometimes, because of the way the presses work, we have to add a page to another section as well to keep them balanced (referred to in the biz as a “collect” run). That would double the cost for newsprint.
On the regional newspaper issue: What you see on prep coverage is city stuff because we zone our coverage of those schools. In the early editions, Shelby and Hickory might appear in the same spots where West Charlotte and Independence appear in the city edition. Same newsprint, different stories catering to readers.
Also, because a high school kid in Mecklenburg County doesn’t have a local equivalent of the Hickory Daily Record, like a kid in Hickory or other outlying areas does, we’re the “paper of record” for those kids. If they’re gonna get their name in the paper, it’s in ours. If you played high school athletics, think how important that was to you, and you’ll see why prep coverage is important to us. We’re going after the readers of the future on that topic.
Because college coverage doesn’t break cleanly along those lines (i.e., N.C. State, Duke, UNC, Clemson, South Carolina, etc., all have many fans in Mecklenburg County), we don’t zone that coverage. If it misses an edition, it was because it wasn’t over in time.
Really, guys, it’s not rocket science. I’ve been doing this a long time, and I have a pretty good feel for my readership. The Niners are important, but not the most important, and while they get some benefits for having Charlotte on their jerseys, it’s not a license to steal. They still have to be good and draw fans. They have to create their own buzz, because readers know if we’re trying to do it for them.
If you can find better coverage of the Niners in another newspaper, I’d like to see it. Relative to their success, I think we’re doing fine.