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Kroger Removing Lansing City Pulse Racks

Kroger City Pulse rack photo
Scott Pohl
This is expected to be the last week City Pulse will be distributed at Kroger stores.

Today marks the last week where the Lansing City Pulse newspaper will be distributed at Kroger stores.

Kroger officials have decided to remove distribution racks for free newspapers, citing a shift by many publications to digital formats.

City Pulse publisher Berl Schwartz says that while print circulation is declining for some papers, City Pulse is an exception. "For us," Schwartz explains, "our numbers have held steady, and part of the reason they’ve held steady is they’ve gone up dramatically at Kroger in the last six, seven years.”

Schwartz says his distribution at Kroger stores has nearly tripled to 3,100 copies each week in recent years. Now, he’s trying to make up for that with racks in new locations. Kroger stores account for 16-percent of the City Pulse’s distribution total. Schwartz fears that advertising revenue will fall if circulation declines. That could force him to cut the number of pages he prints per issue.

More than 700 people have signed an online petition asking Kroger to keep City Pulse racks.

The Lansing city council recently approved a resolution calling on Kroger to reverse the decision to take racks for free newspapers out of stores.

Lansing mayor Andy Schor and five other local elected officials have written to Kroger Chairman Rodney McMullen, urging him to reverse the decision. 

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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