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Chicago Magazine (Owned by Tribune) Ditches USPS in Favor of Newpaper's Distributors

Jan 31, 2014 12:00 AM


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Subscribers used to seeing Chicago magazine tucked inside their mailboxes each month are more likely to find them tossed somewhere on their porches or driveways instead.

Starting with the February issue, the Tribune Co.-owned magazine has ceased using the United States Postal Service for delivery to a majority of its subscribers, opting instead to utilize the Chicago Tribune’s own distribution system. http://www.robertfeder.com/2014/01/31/chicago-magazine-bags-mail-delivery/

Rich Gamble
Rich Gamble, publisher and general manager of Chicago, cited the rising cost of postage for the move, which he said will improve the timeliness of delivery and help preserve the magazine’s heavily discounted subscription pricing levels.

“We have tested this approach across eight months in 2013 with approximately 20,000 subscribers each month and have only experienced a range of 0.1 percent to 1.0 percent of subscribers preferring to stay in the mail or having any negative response,” Gamble said. “We’re continuing to experience the same low level of response now that we have fully implemented this new method.”

Out-of-state subscribers and those who live outside the Chicago Tribune distribution network area will continue to receive their copies by USPS. Those within the Chicago area who choose to opt out may go back to having theirs delivered by USPS by calling (312) 832-6772 or emailing delivery@chicagomag.com.

“The day we launched this, I received my Wall Street Journal with a Bloomberg Business Week magazine inside the same poly bag,” Gamble added. “For what it’s worth, others are experimenting with alternative delivery as well.”