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USPS is delivering more newspapers

April 29, 2024

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Newspapers across the nation are increasingly turning to USPS to deliver their print editions, aiming to provide their subscribers with more reliable, consistent service.

As the labor market has tightened in recent years, many publishers have struggled to find private carriers for traditional home deliveries. By turning the job over to the Postal Service, publishers are able to take advantage of the organization’s ability to deliver to every address in the nation.

USPS receives about 100 applications each year for periodical delivery, the classification for newspapers and magazines. Last year, more than 50 of these applications came from daily or weekly newspapers — an increase from previous years.

“The Postal Service is proud to provide newspaper delivery in communities across the United States. We work closely with publishers to provide a dependable, cost-effective service that benefits their readers,” said Steve Monteith, the organization’s chief customer and marketing officer.

Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, has transitioned to USPS delivery from private carriers in more than 70 markets since 2022.

“As the post-COVID and gig economy has grown, all newspaper companies have struggled to find folks willing to deliver papers in the middle of the night. The Postal Service is another arrow in the quiver of solutions for our readers,” said Steve Wagenlander, senior vice president of publishing operations for Gannett.

The trend recalls the American postal system’s earliest days.

The first major postal law, passed by Congress in 1792, encouraged the exchange of newspapers by allowing them to travel through the U.S. Mail at extremely low rates of postage to ensure the success of the democracy.

In markets where Gannett has switched to USPS delivery, subscriber satisfaction with mail delivery is good if not better than with the carrier force, Wagenlander said.

The company has also found local postmasters eager to do business with them.

“They’re great partners for us,” he said.

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