Why did we start Metro Chinese Weekly
Before New Mainstream Press started, company founder Dan Tsao had been running a successful marketing consulting business for a few years. After placing a number of ads in several Chinese papers for his auto dealership clients, he was disappointed by the overall returns. Dan did some surveys in the community on how readers and businesses view the Chinese weekly papers in the area. From there, he sensed there was not much respect due to the poor format and low editorial quality. He then tried numerous times to convince all publishers to increase circulation, expand distribution to the suburb’s new affluent Chinese communities, and especially feature some news on the front page in stead of purely showcasing advertisements. None of the publishers were willing to follow his advice and make the investment. In February 2007, Dan Tsao quit the marketing consulting business and launched the Metro Chinese Weekly.
How are we different from other papers?
The efforts and investments in distribution, editorials
and more efficient operations have paid off. The established
credibility and proven effectiveness have made the Metro
Chinese Weekly the #1 Chinese paper in Philadelphia in
two short years. Since the beginning of 2007, the Metro
Chinese Weekly expanded from 24 pages to 104 pages, increased
its staff from three full time employees to 14 full timers
and three part timers. The long-term client base also
climbed from 6 advertisers to over 200.
With the clear understanding of the problems that exist in local Chinese newspapers, Dan is determined to create a quality paper that is fresh to the Chinese readers and effective for the advertisers. From the very beginning, he doubled the circulation of other competing newspapers, expanded distribution points to suburban Asian communities, and developed in-depth reports about issues in the Asian communities which have never been written before by other papers.
How are we doing now?
The recent economy downturn has brought more opportunities to the Metro Chinese Weekly. It prompted advertisers to plan their advertising budget more efficiently. Clients started focusing their advertising dollars on the most effective paper instead of placing small ads all over the places. More clients began advertising exclusively on Metro Chinese Weekly. As a result, the Metro Chinese Weekly became dominant in the real estate advertising sector. It now has 17 local real estate ads compared to two on the nationally circulated World Journal and five for China News Weekend. Also, the Metro Chinese Weekly contains six pages of auto dealership ads and seven supermarket ads in comparison to none by any other Chinese newspaper. In the last quarter of 2009, 22 new local advertisers initiated contact and placed ads with Metro Chinese, while only four of them advertised on three other competing papers combined. In the tough economy, one competing newspaper already closed business and another one shrunk to one third of what it used to be. While the remaining competing newspapers try to minimize the operation costs by further cutting pages and circulation, the Metro Chinese Weekly is still trying to improve and grow. In 2009, we added a delivery truck, adding 40 newspaper racks and boxes, added six more local editorial columns, and added 16 pages.
The success from the Chinese market has made it possible for the company to expand into other Asian communities. In September 2008, at the request of some advertising clients, New Mainstream Press started its second publication: The Metro Viet News to service the growing Vietnamese population in Philadelphia and South Jersey area. The Metro Viet News currently prints 6,000 copies each time and is published every week.
To the team at New Mainstream Press, the greatest compliment will always be when a reader calls in and tell us how great our newspaper is or when an advertising client tells us how much response they have gotten from the advertisement placed in the paper. Thanks to the support from more and more advertisers, we have greater capabilities and a larger team to invest into new programs that would enrich the growing but underserved Asian communities.