Twelve Black Press papers join ComBase

Twelve Black Press community newspapers have joined ComBase.

The papers, which are all a part of the MetroValley Newspaper Group (a subsidiary of Black Press), are located primarily in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, except for the Williams Lake Tribune, which is located in the interior of the province.

MetroValley Newspaper Group President Rick OÔÇÖConnor said the company has done readership research in the past through MarkTrend, a British Columbia research company.

ÔÇ£With the advent of ComBase, we thought it was time to get some fresh research to give to our clients,ÔÇØ said OÔÇÖConnor. ÔÇ£We felt the best way of doing that was to join the effort on ComBase.

ÔÇ£The efforts of Elena Dunn and the Canadian Community Newspapers Association have elevated the importance of ComBase in the minds of the advertising decision makers to such a point that we felt it made sense for us to join,ÔÇØ he said.

Hopefully, ComBase will take away the mystery of buying national advertising in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, said OÔÇÖConnor. ÔÇ£This may end the debate on readership and prove that community newspapers are a very good alternative to the dailies in Vancouver.ÔÇØ

Will any more Black Press community newspapers be joining ComBase soon?

ÔÇ£At this point, the number one market for us from a national advertising standpoint is Vancouver and this will serve as a good test over the next year as to the effectiveness of ComBase as a research vehicle for our papers,ÔÇØ said OÔÇÖConnor. ÔÇ£If it works, obviously we would consider doing ComBase in markets like Victoria and Nanaimo, where we have strong community newspapers.ÔÇØ

DSA BaronÔÇÖs David Stanger, who serves as ComBase Chair, said results from ComBase may draw other larger media companies to the study.

ÔÇ£I think we are going to see newspaper chains come on throughout the next 12 to 18 months as they review results in other markets and if they continue to get positive feedback from advertisers and agencies,ÔÇØ he said. ÔÇ£At the end of the day, if the chains that arenÔÇÖt in hear from the chains that are in that they have been able to attribute an increase in sales to ComBase, that will be the most powerful thing that can occur for ComBase to continue to grow to its logical conclusion.ÔÇØ

The Black Press move comes just after two sets of Bowes community newspapers joined the readership research study. Five Bowes papers in Saskatchewan and five in Alberta have joined ComBase within the past few months.