About DM For Newspapers

This site is designed to help newspapers to pursue preprints today, while preparing for a more digital future.

Over the past 31 years, I have been fortunate to work with or for most of the larger newspapers in the USA, as well as some smaller papers. Along the way, I’ve had a role in the launch of 16 TMC programs, and have helped dozens of other papers to take their programs to another level.

This site will contain everything I’ve learned along the way.

A brief Bio of Jim Hart Started out as a sales rep working for a suburban Chicago daily newspaper. 60,000 circ daily, 475,000 shared mail, competing with the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, ADVO and 2 other companies who delivered every house every week. Started to use colored maps, split zip codes and some data to sell preprints way back in 1988. Over 12 years I worked my through the ranks to Ad Director.

Spent 3 years as the Ad Director in Dubuque, Iowa. Launched their TMC. Had Recruitment ads online in 1995. Discovered direct marketing and haven’t been the same since.

Moved to the Arizona Republic to launch their direct marketing efforts. Oversaw the building of their database and built a solo mail sales division, including the purchase of a mail house. Worked with the team that launched their mailed TMC. During this time, I was named the  Arizona Direct Marketer of the Year by the Arizona Direct Marketing Association.

Hired by Astech Intermedia, the newspaper industries largest direct marketing vendor, as their VP of Consulting. Astech was responsible for helping over 80% of the top 25 newspapers in the US to get into direct marketing. Over a span of 3 years, I was fortunate to work closely with dozens of newspapers in the US, Australia and England. This experience exposed me to a wide range of situations, strategies, data and software challenges, etc. It also allowed me to begin to see patterns where a set of tactics that worked great in one competitive situation fizzled in another.

Went to Dallas for 2 years to run Design Mail for Belo and The Dallas Morning News. Design Mail was the pioneer of household level insertion in the newspaper industry, starting in Dallas in 1995. Design Mail had four plants which handled the TMC production for the newspapers in Dallas, Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas and Oklahoma City. Coming into this position with almost 20 years experience in sales and database marketing was a real eye opener. As newspapers strive to become more targeted, the flow of accurate information from sales to production to delivery is our lifeblood. A good deal of the information I will share with you on this site revolves around this.

Over 8 years ago I made the big move out on my own. I have been blessed with a steady flow of challenging projects. Helped two McClatchy Newspapers launch mailed TMC programs. Worked with a top 15 newspaper to negotiate a possible partnership with ADVO. Worked with Knight Ridder on a massive project to get their top 11 newspapers to subzip zoning at breakneck speed. Partnered with American Color to operate 3 Preprint inserting plants the served 10 newspapers, including The Washington Post, Newark Star Ledger, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Indianapolis Star and others. Helped a large midwest newspaper completely restructure their products, sales staff, rates, etc. to better integrate the sale of TMC and online. Had several small projects for smaller newspapers; revamping rate cards, strengthening their production processes, etc.

The past year has been spent creating the PandDNow Program, which now has over 50 newspaper clients. It’s not uncommon for the newspapers to triple their business in short order.

The bottom line is that I have spent at least a few years working hands-on in every area that drives a newspapers preprint volumes, then spent 11 years traveling around dealing with every situation imaginable.