NEWSDAY, the country’s new daily paper, is fast becoming a paper of choice for many readers and advertisers.Trevor Ncube, chairperson of Alpha Media Holdings (AMH), yesterday said the growth of NewsDay, both in readership and advertising, had surpassed expectations at this early stage of its growth.
“On Wednesday for instance we sold 85% of our print run nationwide,” Ncube said. “Indications are that in other areas we sold out completely. This is a record in the short life of NewsDay exceeding even the launch issue of June 7 which went off the shelves like hot cakes.”
Ncube said: “While in the first issue people were sampling us, the sales that we are seeing now are from people who have decided that NewsDay is going to be part of their daily reading. We are encouraged by the response from the market — from both readers and advertisers.”
He said he was impressed by the feed-back from readers who were happy with the product and also welcomed the negative feedback which he said “can only make us better”.
“We are receiving a lot of feed-back from the readers on what they want and we are in listening mode and taking some of their suggestions on board. We have publicly said we want to be an engaged and relevant paper — we are doing exactly that,” Ncube said.
Linda Mhlanga, AMH General Manager Marketing, Sales and Advertising, said she was happy with the response from advertisers who had given NewsDay a vote of confidence.
“We have also been absolutely delighted by the response from advertisers. Advertising content has exceeded our budgets. Classifieds have been exceptional. From nothing we have grown classifieds to three pages in a very short space of time,” she said.
Ncube said the NewsDay team, a blend of young talent and old hands, was fast gelling together to produce what AMH was confident would become the country’s biggest daily
“Our inception has however not been without problems,” Ncube said. “We have had to deal with problems associated with putting a new team together in a country where there is a shortage of skills. But we are quickly overcoming these teething problems.”
Ncube said the use of tokens or coupons for change had not yet been fully communicated to the public.
“Our message is pay US$1 to a vendor or retailer and get change in the form of a plastic token. Use the token the next day to get another NewsDay from your outlet.” — Staff Writer.