Gannett Starts Distribution Service in Lafayette, La.

june 29, 2006  01:19 pm
The Independent Weekly reports that the nation's largest newspaper chain plans to launch a newspaper distribution network in Acadiana, threatening to create havoc for independent publications in the area. Like the distribution schemes Gannett has already started in Greenville, S.C., and Jackson, Miss., the Lafayette operation will force the company's competitors to pay up in order to be displayed in news racks already filled with Gannett's suite of local publications. Jackson Free Press Publisher Todd Stauffer notes that Gannett "has a pretty bad track record" of trying monopolize local markets. "I wish they would take their vast resources and focus more on reporting, investigating, and telling us the stories we need to hear, as opposed to trying to knock the Thrifty Nickel out of business," he says. ALSO: E&P reports on Gannett's distribution plans in its current issue (available online for subscribers), noting that the rollout in Jackson "didn't go so smoothly" after Stauffer and the Free Press "almost single-handedly" turned it into a local controversy.