Look, Briefing Does Not Suck, K?

So says Editor & Publisher in its just-published list of "10 That Do It Right." A.H. Belo biggest wig Robert Decherd has long maintained the free, miniature Morning News is a money-maker, not merely a trash-generator. (Though, admittedly, my folks got a copy last week that wound up much closer to the curb than ever before. Dad only had to go two feet into the busy street to retrieve his.) So, why the thumbs-up from E&P?

In Briefing, the Morning News seems to have found the product the market really wants and needs. A single-section paper delivered Wednesdays through Saturdays to 200,000 non-subscriber households in targeted ZIP codes, Briefing is unabashedly "Morning News Lite" for busy families, especially the woman of the house who values the brand but thinks she's too busy to read it all. Says Briefing General Manager Grant Moise, "The busy mom has been our sweet spot."

Approaching its one-year anniversary, Briefing's 90%-plus acceptance rate has been so high it recently quietly shifted from an opt-out model for only affluent North Dallas to allowing anyone to opt in. With virtually no marketing scheduled until later in the year, 600 to 650 new households are signing up every week. The numbers of advertisers are growing, too -- up a net 15% a month, Moise says.

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