This Is our Village

Thursday, September 29, 2016


In his VP column in the September issue of the Reporter, Fausto Fabbro says "Our UCO bylaws require a paper with news of UCO and Century Village, not a PennySaver." He asks for feedback on his suggestion that the paper be divided into two parts, with "CV news and UCO business" in the first section and ads being in the second section. This would save the reader, he says, from "looking at all those ads." In Fausto's follow-up in the October Reporter, he says he received some feedback agreeing with his suggestions.

Here's my feedback. With the paper being about half articles and news and half ads, I don't think it has reached the point of being a "Pennysaver," but if Fausto's plan were implemented, we would of course HAVE a Pennysaver in section two of the paper. I'm sure we would also have a newspaper far less appealing to our advertisers, who count on their ads being seen in the normal course of reading, not relegated to the back, all in one bunch with other ads. Not even the Advocate is ALL ads. Ask yourself—why do you think the ads in almost all newspapers are sprinkled throughout the pages? It's because they generate more business spread throughout a publication, which means in turn that advertisers will pay more for ads.

But there are two further pluses to having ads dispersed throughout a newspaper. Some people PREFER this. They like "running across" ads. They are reminded of things they need or could use. A second plus concerns the readability of a publication: Good graphics, breaking up otherwise monotonous line upon line of type, help to hold reader interest. Ads therefore serve a purpose in breaking up the type.

I can pretty well predict two results of placing all ads in a separate section of the Reporter: We would not be able to charge as much as we do now for ads, and we would lose advertisers. The newspaper might well then fail to be self-supporting as it is now. Either the number of notices and articles would have to be cut way back, or your UCO dues would have to help support the paper.

Take a look at the Reporter and then the Palm Beach Post. At least the first several pages of the Reporter have no ads. In the FRONT SECTION of the Post you now have often only two or three pages of news and then several full pages of ads. I think we stack up pretty well against the Post.

I commend and thank Fausto for giving serious thought to UCO's official monthly newspaper when many people simply take it for granted. I just don't think his separate section for ads is the way to go.


  1. The "Pennysaver", A free paper throughout the country was started by someone that wanted to make money by charging the advertiser a fee to put out a "free" mini paper with graphic ads and ads by readers wanting to sell or advertise things like yard sales. Not much reading material intended to be in them. Just ads. Think of it as the grandfather of Craigslist.
    The Reporter has presented itself as a true newspaper by giving you the news about and around the Village as well as provide a place for the local businesses to advertise their wares. It does so in the format of every newspaper in the country. To change it would make it nothing but a newsletter with a penny saver attached.
    As Lanny (whom I happen to agree with) stated, many advertisers would discontinue their support and UCO fees would have to be increased to pay for the paper. I can pretty much guarantee that then, it would be a simple little newsletter, much like the so called paper put out by Grossman and his non owning (and rumored non resident) editor.
    I don't think the Reporter has ever had an editor with the background in actual newspaper experience as with Joy Vestal. They may never have it again. So for all the people that have no experience in the newspaper, advertising, or graphics, (and no offense to my friend Fausto) leave the paper as it is. It works and it is the only thing in UCO that is self sustaining (bringing money into UCO without getting it from the owners).

  2. Sorry Fausto, It think that the format that has served us over the years is just fine.

  3. The warning by Fausto—and others—for the Reporter to not become a Pennysaver is an important one, I think. I believe we're at about 50 percent right now (half articles & notices and half ads), and during election periods the ads may have gone over the halfway mark. We certainly don't have to beat the bushes to get advertisers. They come to us because they see what a classy, popular newspaper the Reporter has become. We do need to beware, though, of the paper becoming overloaded with ads.

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  5. I agree with all the above too. The UCO Reporter has greatly improved over the past few years. The "critics" have mainly been the meeting disruptors and libel publishing bloggers and messenger types. Ignore them and continue as you have been

  6. As someone who has worked in market research in a major city for 45 years (and still does), we have had "large" clients pay big bucks to have us test 4 identical issues of a magazine - the only difference being where "their" ad is placed. I feel that you would lose advertisers in droves if all the ads were in a separate section.


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