Thanksgiving editions set records

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Advertisers and consumers who focused on the 2011 Thanksgiving weekend holiday shopping kickoff turned to local newspapers and advertising preprint inserts for information on the best deals.

The value consumers find in their local newspaper inserts was reflected in a spike in circulation revenues across the country.

Meanwhile, the continued effectiveness of inserts in driving consumers to action was evident in resurgent advertiser demand, which resulted in a record number of inserts in many markets. 

According to a sampling of major newspaper groups and independent properties conducted by the Newspaper Associ­ation of America, newspapers across the country reported Thanks­giving newspaper bundles frequently weighing 5 pounds or more.

For example, The Char­lotte (N.C.) Observer (published by The Mc­­Clatchy Co.) carried an unprecedented 87 shopping inserts and weighed in at a record-breaking 6.5 pounds.

“Thanksgiving was a shining example of how much newspapers matter to readers and to advertisers – in fact, to the whole economy,” said Caroline Little, NAA president and chief executive officer.

“Studies show that consumers consider newspapers their most valuable source for shopping planning information, with 79 percent using preprinted inserts in the last 30 days, and insert use growing most swiftly among those ages 25-34,” she said.

Marked increases in advertising preprints and single-copy sales were seen at newspapers in markets large and small and in all regions.