Attn: Sue Gaudi,
Vice President and
General Counsel,
Globe and Mail

Dear Ms. Gaudi,

I don’t have a legal department to respond to your letter asking me to prove our female readership numbers, nor do I have a lot of time to waste, and since this column is also due, it seems most efficient to deliver you a response through my Publisher’s Journal.

Are you aware that in your letter you have missed two very important words from the statement we make on our website with which you take issue? Our website actually reads: “The Women’s Post is a newspaper designed for professional women. We are now reaching more mid to high income professional women per issue in Toronto than the Globe and Mail…” You failed to mention the “in Toronto.”

I’d like to point out that there are a number of different methods used to come up with readership numbers. Most publications have more than one reader per copy, but the research seems to show that the more focused a niche and the longer the shelf life (monthly, weekly, or daily), the more readers per copy a publication is likely to have. So a monthly magazine for women may have 10 to 12 readers per copy, and a weekly publication for book lovers might have six to seven readers per copy, but a daily newspaper with general news may only have three to five readers per copy. Thus, comparing numbers based on our longer shelf life (we distribute twice a month), smaller size, and niche readership (increasing our pass around value) might be viewed by some as giving us quite an unfair advantage.

And I don’t want to take unfair advantage of the Globe and Mail.

Even if I assume that we each have one reader per copy and base this entirely on distribution numbers, we still come out far ahead. As you can see from the copy of the distribution chart which your circulation department forwarded to my assistant, the Globe and Mail distributes 123,200 Saturday newspapers — your biggest print run day — in Toronto (see chart marked Mechanical Press Run figures June 2008). When those figures are combined with the readership analysis of male to female (done by the Print Measurement Bureau) showing that approximately 42 percent of Globe and Mail readers are female, that equates to 51,744 women you distribute to in Toronto.

The Women’s Post distributes 90,000 in Toronto, reaching mid- to high-income women through select household distribution and boxes and racks in mid- to high-income neighbourhoods. Our readership is 95 percent female (based on our 2007 readership survey) which gives us close to 85,500 women recipients in Toronto.

When it comes to reaching women in Toronto, we are indeed on top.

Sometimes people make the mistake of thinking that our small size means that we have a small readership. As you can see from the above comparison, this is not the case. In today’s busy world I’ve found people much more selective. We may not have as many pages as the Globe, but we’ve learned that women readers prefer a smaller more compact journal and appreciate that we have designed it directly for them.

I am quite eager to grow our current distribution numbers in the rest of the country. It won’t be long before we will indeed be claiming to have more women readers in Canada than the Globe and Mail. Shall I look forward to another letter from you once we do?

Warm breezes,
Sarah Thomson
Publisher | Women’s Post


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