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Rough start for changes in printing The Age

Mark Fletcher
May 19th, 2014 · 7 Comments

The switch in printing locationĀ for The Age has made for late deliveries and this is causing some challenges for distribution and retail newsagents.

I have heard from a couple of retail newsagents who have been told they have to go pick up The Age because it arrived too late for them to deliver. It arrived before 7am. I suspect Fairfax would not be happy with this.

I understood that distribution newsagents had to deliver to retail newsagents no matter what time the papers arrived.

2 likes

Category: Newspaper distribution · Newspapers

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dean // May 19, 2014 at 7:02 AM

    Mark,

    Technically you are correct, no matter what time the paper arrives we are contractually bound to deliver the paper.

    The problem is if they are too late then drivers are no longer available as they have day jobs. It is also dangerous from OH&S point of view to be delivering once traffic gets too busy.

    The other consideration is cost. The wages + car allowance does not cover the commission on home deliveries and subagent sales for an Age only round. We would be losing at least $100 per day, more on weekends and Thursday.

    It is unreasonable for anyone to expect us to make the delivery under such circumstances. I would cancel my contract if forced to do so.

    Since the Age moved, our papers are coming at least 1 hour later every day.

    The Age will probably not be here in a couple of years or so anyway.

    4 likes

  • 2 Mark Fletcher // May 19, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    Dean what’s the answer then? If such an impasse between retail and situation newsagent continues and late papers continue then over the counter sales of The Age continue to decline.

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  • 3 Dean // May 19, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    Mark,

    They could pay a late fee which actually covered our costs, that way we would be more willing to deliver the Age when it comes late. However if they deliver late enough not even this is enough of an incentive to complete the late Age delivery round.

    An even better solution would be for the Age to deliver the papers on time, that way everyone is happy.

    I have heard talk of distribution agents considering cancelling their Age contracts, us included. Not serious yet, but as circulation of the Age drops and late deliveries continue then talk will get more serious.

    2 likes

  • 4 James // May 19, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    Its a self fulfilling prophesy. First they cull all of the content creators, then follows all sorts of drama in the delivery of the product. You would think from the outside that Fairfax is intentionally hastening the demise of their branded print media product in favour of a commodity news on line aggregator model.

    Im sure someone in at Fairfax knows what the hell they are doing. The Herald Sun on line site looks more and more like Ninemsn every day. Hopefully Fairfax aren’t headed down the same track.

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  • 5 Gregg // May 19, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    The situation in NSW with Fairfax must be different to VIC. If the SMH or any of their publications run late I simply DO NOT deliver them. All of the subscribers are aware of this and I put their copies aside to be collected and ticked off against the run list. Only once have Fairfax complained and as I pointed out in my contract it has a section mentioning hours it has to be delivered to the customer by, from memory it is 7.30 in rural areas. If they can not get the papers to me to achieve this it is no longer my problem.
    My drop dead time is 5am and if they are later well bad luck.

    2 likes

  • 6 Jenny // May 19, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    From memory we have only ever not delivered for Fairfax on a couple of occasions when the papers just didn’t arrive.

    Very occasionally our local paper comes too late so we deliver the next day if it’s Monday or Wednesdays edition, but Fridays we just credit all accounts as it’s too difficult on a Saturday.
    Always a hassle when this happens as we have to keep a list of who picked up a copy from shop then delete off the run sheets.

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  • 7 reg // May 23, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    Semi-related:

    Since the Age has been printed at Ballarat, the bulks are not wrapped in plastic, they MAY have one side covered by brown paper.

    Which usually means every bulk of Saturday Age and Spectrum will have an outer paper damaged.

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