The February 2006 issue of Newspaper Association of America’s Presstime magazine has a report on the growth of free newspapers. Mentioned are the Bay Area’s free dailies, the Palo Alto Daily News group (which started in 1995) and the SF Examiner (which went free in 2001). But the focus of the story is about how newspaper companies nationwide are looking at free publications as a way to increase revenues. One newspaper broker, Phil Murray, is quoted as saying that the number of free dailies has grown from 13 in 2000 to 35 today. Newspaper analyst John Morton predicts that in five years, many newspapers will derive as much as 20 percent of their income from free publications — which is pretty good considering now that newspaper online activities account for less than 5 percent of newspaper revenues.

SF Press Club News

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