Hey, Corvallis, Eugene Weekly is back.
Early in January, EW management decided to save some money by stopping distribution to Corvallis and Albany, and rather than reduce the number of papers it prints, concentrate more on Lane County and Eugene distribution, which is the alt weekly newspaper’s main advertising base.
Within a week, the outcry began: Where is my Weekly?
EW accountant Marjorie Bridges says the newspaper’s circulation account received about three messages a day asking about the change, and readers began to call the paper, write Facebook messages and send letters to the editor.
EW received more complaints in a week about ceasing Corvallis circulation than complaints when we made a mistake running the crossword puzzle — which is saying something.
Readers didn’t just contact EW. KLCC public radio did a brief story on the change, and The Corvallis Gazette-Times reporter Jim Day did a blog post in which he noted EW has “great letters to the editor, a cranky columnist named Tony Corcoran that I like plus a lot of entertainment news.” Day writes that not only had he noticed EW was no longer circulating in Corvallis, but also a person walked into the Gazette-Times office and asked its customer service rep, “What happened to the Eugene Weekly?”
Anita Johnson, one of EW’s Oregon-based owners, took note of the feedback and asked staff to look into a way to bring its distribution back to Eugene’s northern neighbor. “We’re circulating between 35,000 and 40,000 free newspapers every week and, of course, trying to do it as economically as possible,” she says.
EW circulation manager Liz Levin spoke to Chester Sisson of distribution company Profile in Delivery, which brings EW to local big box stores, and discovered it would be cost-effective to bring EW back to Corvallis via this service.
Corvallis-based EW reader Wally Moon had offered to distribute the paper in Corvallis after he noticed it had disappeared. He will be getting papers from Sisson and dropping them off at Big River Restaurant, Squirrels Tavern, New Morning Bakery, Old World Deli, Downtown Beanery, the library, Natural Grocers, Nearly Normal’s, Bombs Away Café, the campus Beanery and Imagine Coffee. Moon says he brings the papers to places he generally goes, and it takes him about half an hour. “I was just missing the Weekly,” he says of his offer to drop off the paper around Corvallis.
Johnson says that “judging by the amazing response,” EW needed to return to Corvallis and Albany. “We listened and last week we started returning papers to both places,” she says. “We want to thank all those readers who called and emailed and even came by to pick up papers.”
Eugene Weekly can also be found at Fred Meyer and Kmart in Corvallis and Fred Meyer and Grocery Outlet in Albany.