Posted 02 September 2007 - 06:28 PM
This news does not surprise me. Black Press under local media mogul David Black is following in the footsteps of that other notorious defender of unbridled corporatism, Conrad Black. Although not related by blood, the modus operandi of both has been similar. They inflate their circulation figures in attempting to sell ads to prospective clients, but won't provide actual distribution figures after the printing is done because the monopoly freebies are so poorly distributed. I suspect that many trees worth of the papers are thrown out each week.
I have direct experience of this phenomenon from the last municipal election. At that time we bought a distribution deal to insert my 16 page election booklet inside the Victoria News. The deal indicated that the insert would be placed in two editions, to be distributed in certain specified residential routes, but not in apartment buildings or in public drop boxes.
Despite complaints to management after not receiving the paper at our own home, and then discovering that many other households in the contracted routes had not received the paper on the agreed-upon dates, we were never told how many routes were actually covered, nor were we informed of the total number of papers distributed, although this info was requested by us.
After we threatened legal action, we received a cheque back from Black Press for about $1,200 dollars, the amount of the distribution deal. We had paid with a separate cheuqe for the printing, supposedly, of 30,000 copies, but even that amount was questionable, as no certified audit figures were ever forthcoming, although they were requested. We understood that to be a tacit admission on their part that their distribution system, such as is is, is effectively bogus.
Needless to say, we resolved never to advertise with Black Press again, not being confident that they were much good at doing more than hoodwinking naive advertisers like ourselves.
It's not likely that the fired employees will get hired at Monday, as that deplorable rag is published by the same shysters.
If Russ Francis is quiet on this, it will certainly lessen my respect for him. I hope he finds the courage to address this somehow in his column.