As they say in the Single Copy sales department, “We start each day with a sale of zero.”  Then, over the next few hours, tens of thousands of people pick up The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, Observer & Eccentric and other publications from stores and coin boxes across Michigan. Some readers do it every day; others only occasionally.

The May 23rd R+D panel discussion focused on single copy sales and the various factors that might motivate people to buy newspapers. Our panelists came from a variety of backgrounds, but each of them at least occasionally purchase single copy newspapers.

Watch this video and see what they have to say about what informs their purchasing habits and tell us about why they choose one over another. 

BONUS VIDEO! (What single copy dealers tell us about why and when people buy our newspapers)

In addition to our five panelists at the May 23 R+D Reader Panel, we interviewed single copy dealers to learn their thoughts on customer behavior. 

Also, here are some interesting factoids shared by Senior Director/Distribution John Morey, 

  • Percentage of Sunday papers sold in racks vs. stores: 3% rack; 97% stores and hawkers
  • Number of Sunday papers sold by “hawkers” in metro Detroit: 10,000
  • Number of Sunday papers sold at the largest single outlet: 500
  • Retail chain that sells the most Sunday papers: CVS
  • Total combined copies of News and Free Press sold due to 2011 Lions season: 93,000
  • Total extra copies due to Kwame Kilpatrick from the breaking of the test message story until his imprisonment: 500,000
  • Total extra copies due to deaths of Michael Jackson and Osama Bin Laden: 50,000 each 


Selling advertising has always been a tough, competitive business. Today, sales executives need to be experts in so many aspects of media: search engine optimization, geo-targeted web campaigns, social media – and, of course, our print products. On May 8, Detroit Media Partnership recognized outstanding performance in advertising sales at an event at our Sterling Heights Operational Facility. 

Three sales executives achieved 105% or more of their annual sales goal and earned the President’s Club award. Those honorees are:

Erica Hiser, Signature Media – for exceeding her annual sales goal by +40% and single handedly selling the most revenue into the Editor’s Choice edition of StyleLine magazine.  She did this and more despite being on maternity leave for three months!

Jeff Heins, Automotive – for exceeding his annual sales goal by +9%. Jeff has had many successes over his 17 years in sales. He is a consistent top performer and last year he landed two large contracts worth a combined $1.2 million in revenue.

Beth Yoakum, Recruitment – for exceeding her annual sales goal by +8% and earning Inside Salesperson of the Quarter three out of four quarters in 2011. One of Beth’s top accomplishments last year was leading the recruitment team in sales of Yahoo! ads. 

In addition to these outstanding efforts, the following sales executives achieved 100% of their sales goals last year: Gail Wiener, Dayna Petroskey, Marla Parial, Mariam Dupont, April Miller and Sara Oberg.

In this R+D Video Visit, Rebecca Steckler, Sr. VP of Advertising talks about the award program and we talk with the winners to learn how they connect with customers and what tips they recommend for others. 

READER PANEL: Checking in on Detroit from Detroit Media Partnership R+D on Vimeo.


There’s been a lot of progress and change in downtown Detroit since we first talked with a panel of die-hard Detroiters a year ago. New businesses and restaurants have joined the momentum, companies have moved hundreds and thousands of their employees to the area, buildings have been purchased and renovated and reopened, and there are new apartments, lofts, condos and more. 

We wondered: What does it all mean — for Detroit, for us as a company, and for those of us that work (and live) in Detroit? And what’s next? 

Nearly 40 employees from all the News, Free Press, O+E, and the DMP gathered to listen to our panel:


Paul “PJ” Ryder: PJ is the proprietor of PJ’s Lager House in Corktown – home of great food and music. He is a figurehead in the local entertainment scene. The Lager House is THE place to play for up-and-coming local musical acts. Twitter: @pjs_lagerhouse; www.pjslagerhouse.com

Maurice Wiggins: Maurice is the proprietor of the new Hudson Café across Woodward Ave from Compuware. www.hudson-cafe.com

Brianna Fritz: Brianna grew up in the suburbs, attended U-M and recently relocated to the Corktown neighborhood. On most weekdays she rides her bike to her job at Digerati, a cutting edge digital company in the Guardian Building. www.thedigeratiprocess.com

Jeanette Pierce: Jeanette is a native of Detroit and graduate of Aquinas College. The co-founder of Inside Detroit, and a long-time champion of downtown, she is known for her tours and encyclopedic knowledge of the city. Twitter: @JeanettePierce

Emily Doerr: Emily is the founder of the Hostel Detroit on Vermont St. She’s a graduate of Central Michigan University, and has been active with the Corktown Residents Council and Southwest Solutions; she’s also a mentor in the  Alternatives for Girls program. Emily currently works for the Michigan Regional Chamber. Twitter: @EmilyDoerr

Brittany Guerriero: Brittany is a Director of Donor Relations, Corporate Sector, at The United Way of Southeast Michigan. She is also responsible for the organization’s “Leadership Next” initiative. Twitter: @UnitedWayBritt

Detroit’s hidden gems (Tell us something new that we don’t know)

  • John’s Carpet House in Poletown – Frederick and St. Aubin – where during warm weather you hear the “best blues in Detroit” in an outdoor setting, every Sunday afternoon. They’re trying to work with the city to “get legal,” says Doerr. Link to DetNews.com article. 
  • Dr. Sushi – new sushi establishment in Corktown. Twitter: @drsushidetroit
  • Jazzin’ on Jefferson – an annual festival in the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood on the east side. www.jazzinonjefferson.com
  • Collaboration of United Way and others on programs to address hunger – Detroit schools garden project, and mobile food pantries with Ford and Gleaners. (Guerriero said 25% of Michigan families can’t afford more than one meal a day)
  • A baseball program, cited by Wiggins and started by a former major leaguer living downtown. Fifty Detroit kids were involved this summer, they played a game in March, and the MLB association is planning “big things” for the future.
  • Hot Spokes – a downtown/midtown bicycle deliver service, promoted by Ryder for lunches. www.facebook.com/HotSpokes
  • The Jazz Loft in Greektown, where “jam” performances led by keyboardist Phil Hale take place late Monday nights. It’s over the Golden Fleece restaurant. 
  • Detroit City Futbol League – a soccer league with over 20 teams that play around Detroit, with each team representing a Detroit neighborhood. And after each game, trips to different neighborhood bars. Link to DetNews.com article.
  • Tashmoo Biergarten – an outdoor European-style beer garden that was launched for a few Sundays last fall in the West Village area, with another version planned for spring. www.tashmoodetroit.com

One last thought about Detroit:

  • “You can live in another part of the city – and then come downtown for the energy.” – Doerr
  • “There’s no successful city without a strong downtown and city center…As downtown and Midtown get filled up – and we’re seeing that – people can move farther out. They can be pioneers, too, and farmers…” – Pierce
  • “I’m not waiting on a mayor, a council or anybody else to change my city. I have enough presence and tenacity to do it myself.” – Wiggins
  • “Detroit is big enough to matter in the world – but small enough where you can matter in it.” – Pierce


At one time, many of our new subscribers were signed up by our paper boys! Then telemarketing became the prominent vehicle - until the launch of the “do not call” list changed the game again. In 2012, subscriptions come from a variety of sources. Outside Sales Manager Bill Brisse talks to us about how we acquire new subscribers.


Once we sign them up, how do we keep new subscribers? It helps to have the greatest newspapers anywhere, available in multiple formats – but it’s also essential to build relationships with readers at every opportunity that comes our way. Consumer Solutions Director Julia Stevenson, with the help of some of the staff, talks about all we do keep subscribers subscribing.


The February R+D Panel Discussion was Thursday, February 23, in the Café Conference Room. The theme was homes and gardens.

The five panelists included two consumers and three people in the homes and garden business in some fashion. More information about the businesses and a link to Homestyle can be found here: 

Jan Bills, co-owner of a “Two Women and a Hoe” in Royal Oak: www.twowomenandahoe.com

Patti Kommell, Homework Interiors: www.homeworkinteriors.net

Michael Bedell, Bedell Property Management: www.bedellpropertymanagement,com

We also consulted with Detroit News editor Judy Diebolt, who is responsible for Homestyle, when planning the event. Homestyle can be found in The Detroit News every friday and online at: http://www.detroitnews.com/section/lifestyle01


For the second year in a row, DMP won the Cars.com Madison Avenue Award - given for marketing excellence in a market that demonstrates creative and effective promotion of the brand.  Join some cars.com product specialists  to learn more about the successful site - including marketing and promotion

Congratulations to product specialists Product Specialists Jennifer Gussin, Mike Micklus, April Miller, Sara Oberg, Dayna Petroskey and Angelina Tosqui; manager Heather Urban; and director Joanne Krause


Detroit’s Apartments.com team of Charlie Kretschmer, Mike Sacha and Jeff Quinn finished 2011 ahead of all other newspaper affiliate markets, with sales of 29 new packages. In this video, sales professionals Kretschmer and Sacha talk about the site - and we also hear about the new SalesForce CRM (Contact Record Management) tools that help them achieve their best.

Tales and notes from the R+D department of the Detroit Media Partnership (agent for the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News)

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