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Home > Public Policy > Postal Affairs

POSTAL AFFAIRS

Newspapers today are among the leading local users of postal services. Although small market daily and weekly newspapers often use Periodicals mail for delivery of their publications, the mail class that newspapers use the most is Standard Mail, primarily for the delivery of "Total Market Coverage” products (ad inserts to non-subscribers). NAA advocates, on behalf of the newspaper industry, to ensure that postal policies on rates, new services and mail entry are fair and do not adversely impact the long-standing partnership between newspapers and the U.S. Postal Service.

= NAA Members Only


How the new postal rates can help you grow TMC revenue

January 08, 2014

The Postal Regulatory Commission delivered mailers an unwelcome present on Christmas Eve, granting the U.S. Postal Service’s request for an “exigent” rate surcharge on top of the normal, annual price cap adjustment that was approved in late October. As a result of the PRC’s decision, postal rates across all classes of mail will increase by an average of 6 percent.

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PRC approves postage surcharge; New rates a mixed bag for newspapers

January 02, 2014

The Postal Regulatory Commission delivered mailers an unwelcome present on Christmas Eve, granting the U.S. Postal Service’s request for an “exigent” rate increase on top of the statutory price cap adjustment that was approved in late October. This means that with the price cap adjustment and the increase, postal rates across all classes of mail will rise by a cumulative 6 percent. As reported in September, USPS asked the PRC to approve an exigent rate increase, well above the Consumer Price Index, to recover lost revenue as a result of the “Great Recession.” The PRC’s action is responding to this special request.

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Postal rate changes offer good news as well as uncertainty for newspapers

October 01, 2013

The Postal Service on September 26 filed proposed postal rate increases with the Postal Regulatory Commission that would lower rates for newspaper Total Market Coverage products going at High Density Plus rates, but potentially dramatically increase rates for all mail products.

Let me explain: Media reports have focused on the fact that the Postal Service is requesting higher-than-inflation rate increases on all mail products – busting the rate cap that was established by Congress with the passage of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act in 2006. However, it is important to recognize that the Postal Service filed two separate rate proposals with the PRC – one that is likely to be easily approved and one that may run into problems. 

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Appeals court hears NAA lawsuit challenging Valassis NSA

September 24, 2013

On September 19, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard the oral argument in Newspaper Association of America v. Postal Regulatory Commission — NAA's lawsuit challenging the PRC's approval of the USPS / Valassis negotiated services agreement (NSA). Robert Long of Covington & Burling argued the case on behalf of NAA before Judges Griffith, Henderson and Randolph.

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NAA assessment of USPS proposal to end Saturday delivery

February 12, 2013

The U.S. Postal Service announced last week that it will stop Saturday mail delivery beginning in early August. The agency said Saturday delivery of packages and mail to post office boxes will continue. Is this a done deal? No. Serious questions are being raised on whether the Postal Service has legal authority to stop Saturday delivery.

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NAA convinces USPS to create rate category that could benefit TMCs

October 16, 2012

It has been a long time since we received good news from the U.S. Postal Service. That came on Thursday, when the USPS filed its annual rate changes with the Postal Regulatory Commission. The filing contains a new rate category, high density plus, for standard mail flats such as newspapers’ total market coverage products.

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Postal Regulatory Commission approves Valassis special rate deal; NAA files appeal

September 21, 2012

The Postal Regulatory Commission on Thursday, August 23, approved a negotiated services agreement between the U.S. Postal Service and Valassis Direct Mail, despite the opposition of NAA, individual newspapers, its own Public Representative, numerous members of Congress and the majority of other commenters, including media placement firms Vertis and Geomentum. The vote was 4-1, with Commissioner Tony Hammond dissenting. Within 24 hours of the decision, NAA filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and filed an emergency motion for a stay of the decision.

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Responses to inquiry reveal growing opposition to Valassis NSA

July 10, 2012

More than 30 newspaper companies, representing thousands of daily and weekly newspapers, provided detailed responses to the Postal Regulatory Commission’s notice of inquiry on the proposed special postage-rate deal (or negotiated service agreement) for Valassis Direct Mail.

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Postal Regulatory Commission requests more information on direct-mail NSA; Newspaper assistance requested

June 20, 2012

On June 15, the Postal Regulatory Commission issued a notice of inquiry on the Postal Service’s proposed negotiated services agreement (or contract rate) with Valassis Direct Mail. The proposed NSA would give the national direct mailer postage rebates ranging from 22 to 36 percent for new mail containing ad inserts from national durable and semi-durable retailers, and is a direct assault on preprinted inserts in newspapers’ Sunday editions.

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NAA files comments asking Postal Regulatory Commission to reject proposed deal with direct-mail competitor

May 23, 2012

Newspapers have been long-standing and important customers of the U.S. Postal Service. Some newspapers use the Postal Service as a delivery service for their main product – the local newspaper – and many newspapers supplement the reach of their editorial product by using the mail to deliver Total Market Coverage products (advertising inserts to non-subscribers). Newspaper publishers spend approximately $500 million annually for the delivery of these TMC mail pieces.

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Learn how to minimize effect of postal increase on TMC products

November 07, 2011

The U.S. Postal Service recently filed a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to raise rates effective Jan. 22, 2012. This is the first rate increase in two years. The request complies with the overall 2.133 percent cap tied to the Consumer Price Index as required by law.

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NAA critical of proposal to change length of newspaper mail service

October 24, 2011

The U.S. Postal Service announced in mid-September that it is in the process of studying the closure of 252 mail processing facilities in an effort to eliminate excess capacity and reduce costs. In conjunction with this effort to “optimize its network,” the Postal Service has proposed revisions in service standards that essentially eliminate overnight delivery for first-class mail and periodicals. The periodicals service standard would move to a two- to nine-day delivery window.

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How do the Postal Service’s financial woes affect newspapers?

October 10, 2011

You have heard (and your newspapers have written about) the uncertain future facing the U.S. Postal Service. During the 2011 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, the Postal Service realized an operating loss of $1.8 billion. In addition, it reached the ceiling on its $15 billion borrowing authority and is unable to make a $5.5 billion payment to prefund retiree health-care benefits as mandated by a 2006 postal reform law. (Congress extended the deadline to meet this payment to Nov. 18 with the passage of a short-term funding resolution for the government).

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Postal Service selling direct mail to national advertisers

May 10, 2011

The U.S. Postal Service is ready to launch a market test that would offer national advertisers a money-back guarantee for direct mail advertisements through first-class mail and standard mail. The Postal Service is focusing on 16 unidentified national advertisers that spend a minimum of $250 million annually on advertising and for whom postage right now is less than 0.36 percent of the company's total spending on advertising.

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NAA opposes USPS program targeting newspaper advertising

February 07, 2011

The U.S. Postal Service filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission on Jan. 12 of its intention to offer, as an experimental market test, "Marketing Mail Made Easy" (MMME). This would allow business mailers to distribute saturation advertising mail without an address. The test begins on Feb. 27 and lasts for two years. The Postal Service says the new program targets small and medium-sized businesses not using the mail.

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Postage rates driving newspapers out of U.S. mail, report finds

December 06, 2010

NAA commissioned Mather Economics LLC in Rosewell, Ga., in August 2010 for a survey of NAA-member newspapers to assess the economic impact of recent postal rate increases for the delivery of newspapers’ total market coverage (TMC) products (ad inserts delivered to nonsubscribers). “How Are USPS Rates Affecting the Preprint Advertising Market?" specifically assessed the impact of rates on TMC advertising volumes, as well as the impact of postal rates on newspapers’ use of the nation’s postal system. Below are highlights of the report.

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Deflection standard may increase postage for some newspapers

October 03, 2010

On Oct 3, 2010, the U.S. Postal Service implemented revised deflection standards, known as the “droop rule,” which may result in an assessment of additional postage for some newspapers. Most newspapers’ mailed products – newspapers and/or Total Market Coverage products – will not be impact as the standard excludes High Density and Saturation ECR flats and flats mail drop shipped at local post offices, called Destination Delivery Units.

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Postal Service proposes options to remedy financial challenges

June 23, 2010

The U.S. Postal Service is facing serious financial difficulties as a result of the economic recession and organization’s inability to control costs, which consistently outpace revenues. Postal volumes from 2007 to 2010 have declined by 17 percent or 36 billion pieces. The Postal Service is projecting that it will lose nearly $7 billion in Fiscal Year 2010 (Oct. 2009 – Sept. 2010).  The Postal Service ended April 2010 with a year-to-date loss of $2.2 billion, which is lower than a $3.5 billion loss projected earlier this year for the same time period.

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Finances force Postal Service to propose ending Saturday delivery

April 07, 2010

The U.S. Postal Service filed a request on March 30 for the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to provide an “advisory opinion” on a proposal to eliminate Saturday delivery to residences and businesses. The Postal Service believes this cut would save the agency nearly $3 billion. If the proposal is implemented, the impact for newspapers will vary depending upon the use of the postal system.

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