NNA joins appeal of postal discounts

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The National Newspaper Association, representing nearly 2,300 community newspapers and their execu­tives, has filed an appeal of the Postal Regulatory Com­mission’s decision to permit special postage discounts for Valassis Direct Mail.

The appeal, filed with the U.S. Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia Circuit, protests the discounts of 22 percent to 34 percent of Standard pricing the U.S. Postal Service created as part of a negotiated service agreement.

It is intended to increase direct mail by attracting cus­tomary newspaper advertisers, primarily those that appear in weekend insert packages.

The newspaper industry mounted vigorous protests against the deal with the Pos­tal Regulatory Commission but lost in a 4-1 decision by the commissioners, who said in their opinion that they be­lieved the Postal Service should compete against newspapers.

National Newspaper Association President Reed Anfinson, publisher of the Swift County (M.N.) Monitor-News, said the community newspaper industry finds the concept of a federal enterprise setting out to weaken newspapers objectionable.

“Above and beyond the harm to local newspapers that this deal will create, the notion that the Postal Service should set its sights on taking away newspaper advertising is shocking to many of us who have traditionally seen the Postal Service as our delivery partner,” Anfinson said.

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