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Marty Weybret: Sentinel Saver makes its debut

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Posted: Friday, March 7, 2014 12:00 am

A new newspaper will debut today in Lodi — Sentinel Saver. This is our new “shopper,” and is the successor to the Sentinel Express. If you’ve never read Sentinel Express, it’s probably because you subscribe to the Lodi News-Sentinel.

The Express was a free newspaper delivered once a week to homes and businesses that don’t have a News-Sentinel subscription. The Sentinel Saver is similar, except it will be delivered on Fridays and go almost exclusively to residents who request delivery.

Shoppers are a time-honored product designed to work together with a paid newspaper to maximize reach. A combination buy of the Lodi News-Sentinel and the Sentinel Saver gives local businesses a way to reach nearly every Lodi household.

Some people see shoppers as a nuisance. Many copies of the Express were neglected, lying kicked aside in the sun and the rain or piling up in mailboxes and trash cans. But last year we conducted a poll, and were pleased to learn that more than half of Express copies are picked up and read.

So I brought our management team together at the end of 2013 and challenged them: How do we deliver advertising value and a bit of local news without making a nuisance of ourselves? We came up with Sentinel Saver, a free newspaper for families who request a copy.

For the next two weeks, we will be giving every non-subscriber a sample of the Sentinel Saver. After that, we will scale back the sampling.

We changed the publishing day from Wednesdays — the old, traditional shopping day for housewives — to Friday. These days, everybody works, everybody shops, and people mostly shop on the weekends. We hope to soon attract into Sentinel Saver many of the ad supplements that run in the weekend edition.

It all adds up to a great deal for advertisers — lots more bang for a few more bucks.

We hope those who don’t read the News-Sentinel will “opt-in” for Sentinel Saver.

This is a shopper that abides by your rule: If you tell us you don’t want it, we won’t deliver it. Inside every edition will be a story telling you how to stop (or start) delivery of the Sentinel Saver.

Whether you own a business or love to read about your community, we would be pleased if you’d give Sentinel Saver your consideration.

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