The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail have announced a partnership to distribute their newspapers -- and other print publications -- in Ontario. The partnership will deliver both the Star and the Globe to homes, businesses and retail outlets and will also distribute other newspapers and 3rd party products. The two companies will continue to operate separately in all other aspects including editorial, advertising, sales and production.
"We are very happy with the new joint venture with The Globe and Mail," said John Cruickshank, Publisher of the Toronto Star and President of Star Media Group. "It will allow both the Star and The Globe to bring together our distribution operations, resulting in savings for both companies and better service for our readers and advertisers."
"This partnership allows The Globe and Mail to benefit from blended operational best practices while still maintaining a direct and independent relationship with our valued subscribers and readers," said Phillip Crawley, Publisher and CEO of The Globe and Mail. "As our industry faces the reality of increasing distribution costs, this partnership model allows us to potentially expand our distribution footprint and implement consistent service standards across Ontario."
Both newspapers use adult independent contractors to deliver papers now. There will likely be the same sort of rationalization as took place in 2002 when major magazine wholesalers merged their truck delivery system into one fleet called ProLogix.
Interestingly, in 2006 a consortium of major magazine publishers commissioned a feasibility study testing the possibility of having their magazines delivered to subscribers in major urban areas (such as the GTA) via those same newspaper contractors. At the time, it was found to be too expensive. A year later, Rogers launched its own pilot project, but it was not ultimately successful. The partnership between rivals Globe and Star shows that times and circumstances can change, however. (Mentioned here before is the fact that I receive my copy of the Guardian Weekly delivered with my Globe and Mail every Thursday (better service than most GW subscribers get by mail).)
With the escalation of postal delivery costs, and this new partnership looking around for customers, some magazine publishers may consider anew how to get their issues into readers' hands in the most efficient and cost-effective way.
The new partnership may also mean that some people who subscribe to both papers will only have one lout booming up their driveway at 4 a.m. and unnerringly throwing the bagged paper(s) against the garage door with the loudest possible bang.