How a media expert valued ST. MARY’S TODAY 

How a media expert valued ST. MARY’S TODAY

James N. Rosse, the former Provost of Stanford University, President, and CEO of Freedom Communications, evaluated ST. MARY’S TODAY in 2000.


One of the most revealing summaries of the value of St. Mary’s Today was this excerpt from the 2000 expert opinion formulated by newspaper consultant James N. Rosse as part of the lawsuit, Rossignol v Voorhaar. Rosse was the former CEO of Freedom Communications, which owned a chain of daily and weekly newspapers, television stations, and radio stations. Rosse was also Provost of Stanford University. As part of his executive duties with the large media firm, he evaluated prospective purchases of newspapers for his company.

Rosse wrote:  I know of no weekly community newspaper that derives more than fifty percent of its income from circulation sales. Most community weeklies situated as St. Mary’s Today was would derive upwards of eighty percent of their income from advertising and, for many, the ratio would be well over ninety percent. Secondly, the per copy circulation price of seventy-five cents is unheard of among weeklies. It is even high for the weekday issue of a daily newspaper!

None of Freedom’s twenty-six dailies and more than thirty community weeklies charges as much for a weekday copy as did St. Mary’s Today. The fact that St. Mary’s Today sold for seventy-five cents per copy is nothing short of remarkable!

None of Freedom’s twenty-six dailies and more than thirty community weeklies charges as much for a weekday copy as did St. Mary’s Today. The fact that St. Mary’s Today sold for seventy-five cents per copy is nothing short of remarkable!

     These two facts would tell a potential buyer several important things. First, Editor/Publisher Rossignol had succeeded in building a newspaper product with a remarkable reputation for providing readers with the information that they want and a very loyal readership. Were that not so, it would not have been possible for him to persuade more than 5,000 readers to part with seventy-five cents per copy each week. Second, a potential buyer would immediately perceive the opportunity for improving business prospects by doing a better job of selling advertising. 

     The potential buyer would also observe that the product could be improved from a typographical standpoint. To do so would make it easier to sell space to advertisers & broaden its readership appeal.

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