Income from advertising circulars was among the few bright spots in the Los Angeles Times' latest monthly revenue report, and a recent national consumer survey gives one indication why.

An annual survey conducted by Baltimore-based marketing firm Vertis Inc. said that four out of five of the 3,000 consumers questioned read the glossy inserts that pack their Sunday paper, and use the ads to help decide where they shop and what to buy.

The study indicates that insert readership levels are consistently at 85 percent or above, even among Internet savvy consumers. Around 88 percent of Sunday newspaper readers surveyed via the Internet said they read Sunday newspaper inserts, compared with 79 percent of those surveyed by phone.

Additionally, around 52 percent of those surveyed by phone and 71 percent of those surveyed via the Web said they use the inserts to decide where they buy groceries.

The Tribune Co., the Chicago-based parent of the Times, reported that Times revenue from preprint pieces for the five weeks ending Jan. 29 grew nearly 5 percent from the same period a year ago, a trend seen throughout last year, while full-run advertising in the paper itself fell more than
4 percent.

The Times' preprint figure includes the advertising bundles delivered to non-subscribing households each week. And that is another factor pushing preprint growth: As paid circulation falls at the Times, advertisers are turning to circulars to reach households.

Industry experts say the preprints are popular among readers because they are an appealing four-color, glossy format that mimics a magazine and also because they come from the largest retailers.

Event Planning
New York-based events industry trade publisher BiZBash Media Inc. has launched a Web site dedicated to Los Angeles and Southern California, with a regional print edition of its magazine scheduled for later this year.

BiZBash LA & Southern California will include a biweekly, electronic newsletter that will showcase the most interesting events and feature listings of the latest venues and resources in each market.

Elisabeth Familian, publisher of Inside Events magazine, has been named president of BiZBash's California operation, and Bobbi Proctor, former regional sales manager for Meetings West and associate publisher of Agenda Magazine, has been named publisher. Current associate editor Alesandra Dubin will move to Los Angeles to become the Southern California editor and bureau chief.

"We are what Variety is to the entertainment industry, and Women's Wear Daily is to fashion," said David Adler, BiZBash Media's chief executive and founder. "The network, which has proven highly successful in New York City, will become the ideal springboard for (Los Angeles) event planners in generating ideas for their clients."


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