Under the nascent ownership of Brian Tierney and Philadelphia Media Holdings, the Inquirer and Daily News have not only managed to stanch the chronic hemorrhage of readers, they’ve actually seen a modest, but no less substantive uptick in circulation. In this era of mass media ‘shrinkage,’ this is nothing short of a modern miracle. How did they do it? With prizes inside. That’s right, borrowing a page from the cereal-maker’s playbook, PMH has been giving away prizes like Bob Barker on ecstacy. To wit:
Philadelphian Jennifer Barr is the grand-prize winner in the “Alvin and the Chipmunks” movie contest, which means she’s the owner of a Nintendo Wii and the Alvin game to play on it. Barr also won a basket of munkalicious treats from Goodie Goodie Gumdrops. Michael Porter, also of Philadelphia, won the iPod Video Nano and 10 other lucky Daily News readers won “Alvin and the Chipmunks” prize packs. They are Keturah Williams, Natalie Jones, William Boyle, Janet Morgan, and Jack Rivas, all of Philadelphia; Janet Lisa, of Langhorne; Joe Stelacio, of Lafayette Hill; Susie Blank, of Bala Cynwyd; Gray Newman, of Feasterville, and Meredith McEwing, of Clayton, N.J. “Alvin” opens this Friday. Gwendolyne David, of Philadelphia, is the lucky winner of a Gibson Les Paul Standard Gold Top guitar in our contest to promote the movie “Juno,” which also opens Friday. Winners of “Juno” prize packs are Robert Blair, Gloria McCauley, Michael Beachem, Samantha Brennan, Maureen Schindle, all of Philadelphia; Carol Chavarria, of King of Prussia; Kurt Pirmann, of Warrington; Amy Helm, of Chadds Ford; Robert Clark, of Aston, and Mary Freeborn, of Eddystone.
Still, the question remains: Can Hannah Montana save journalism as we know it? Gosh, we sure hope so.