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City Council Amends Advertisement Spending

The city will now divide advertising funding between the "Beverly Hills Courier," "Beverly Hills Weekly" and "Beverly Hills Patch."

The City Council voted 3-1 Tuesday to amend its public notice and advertising spending by agreeing to one bid and two contracts with three local news sources. 

Vice Mayor John Mirisch was unable to attend the meeting and did not vote on the agenda item.

The Beverly Hills Courier was awarded the Fiscal Year 2012/13 bid for publication of the city's advertising and required notices "because of its more extensive distribution within the city," according to the item's staff report. 

"The bid governs not only legal notices and advertising but also covers all display advertising needs from other city departments in the same contract," the staff report read.

The Beverly Hills Weekly also applied for the bid, but ultimately signed a contract with the city for public notices and display advertising for the upcoming fiscal year, which starts July 1.

For online advertising, the city is entering into a contract with Beverly Hills Patch, which is to be presented for approval at the July 3 formal council meeting.

The council has directed a target spending amount for each of the three publications as follows:

  • Beverly Hills Courier—not to exceed $60,000 
  • Beverly Hills Weekly—not to exceed $50,000
  • Beverly Hills Patch—not to exceed $10,000 

A reserve for additional advertising as needed up to $10,000 was also approved. 

The 60-50-10 division in spending was presented by Councilman Julian Gold at the June 7 study session. Councilman Barry Brucker proposed the $10,000 reserve at the same session.

Be sure to follow Beverly Hills Patch on Twitter and "Like" us on Facebook.

Marie Cunningham (Editor) June 21, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Thank you to the City Council for giving Patch a piece of the ad pie. And to all residents, please let me know how we're doing and what we can do better! Email me directly at mariec@patch.com. I hope to hear for you, Marie
George Vreeland Hill June 21, 2012 at 01:44 AM
I would have put more money on the Patch because of the number of people who go online for their local news. Face it, Beverly Hills is wired (and wireless) with every tech gadget there is. The Patch is interactive where the newspapers are not except for the Courier's comment sections. An interactive site draws people. The Patch is very interactive. Put money where the people go. I have degrees in marketing and business and I wish I had the city data of why they spend the money and the reasoning behind it. They may be 100% correct, but I love challenges and I bet I can make better use of the city dollars. Sorry, but advertising gets me going.
Marie Cunningham (Editor) June 21, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Thanks for the support, Mr. Hill :)
AJ Willmer June 21, 2012 at 01:46 PM
I am with George. I find the Patch to be a very valuable news and commentary source and I appreciate the fact that the City of Beverly Hills has recognized that and will target some advertising dollars to the Patch.
Gary Gorlick June 21, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Marie: Would Patch please note the yea and nay voting on all issues reported. I suspect Beverly Hillsians would be so interested. Thank you for feed-back on such a policy by Patch.
Barry Brucker June 21, 2012 at 05:55 PM
BH Patch has become an integral part in honest reporting for BH news. I agree with George and AJ that Patch is a positive addition to our media options and deserves City funding. Gary: To answer your question: Motion made by Gold, seconded by Brucker (vote: Gold, Brucker, Brien Yea / Bosse Nay.
cutop June 21, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Not trying to be a sycophant here, but I feel that Patch.com deserves more. The very fact that Patch fosters community involvement makes its page much more valuable real estate for online advertising. The Courier fudges their physical circulation and website views. In Clif Smith's efforts to put his publication in the same ranks as the LA Times, he neglects to mention that his paper is passively delivered for free to every residence in BH and the outlying areas, most of the time left to rot on our driveways; and that the total visits the Courier's website receives in 2 years, the LA Times gets in just one day. By my estimates, Beverly Hills Patch receives just as many daily visits as the Courier's site. This estimate isn't without foundation. According to Alexa.com (http://bit.ly/M9Q4iu), the subdomain beverlyhills.patch.com receives 0.36% of the main domain's total visits (over 2 million daily visits). That works out to be a minimum of ~7,200 daily visits to BH Patch, which - according to Alexa (http://bit.ly/Mm74kH) is comparable to the amount of daily visits the Courier's site receives. No one is participating in the Courier's public commentary. I've submitted several comments and they always get rejected. My guess is that Clif serves as the moderator and if what you say doesn't support his narrative, he rejects the submission. His loss; BH Patch's gain. As for the Weekly - it's a good, honest newspaper desperately in need of a real website.
Lili Bosse June 21, 2012 at 06:34 PM
just for clarification..i stated on record the reason why i didn't support the $10,000 advertising amount to Patch was because we never received any bids from Patch asking for ad dollars and we were told at the meeting by the editor that the stories would be written for free..she did not ask for money for advertising. please feel free to go online to the beverly hills website to our meeting and watch the item on the agenda so you can see it in context.
Marie Cunningham (Editor) June 21, 2012 at 11:13 PM
A little more clarification in response to Councilwoman Bosse...I did say that I am happy to write up previews of city events and post press releases to help residents know about the happenings in Beverly Hills. That is free to the city and I will continue to do it. But when it comes to advertisements, I stated that I work on the editorial side and have no control over the cost/placements of ads. I didn't offer ads for free, but did agree to keep up as much reporting on the city as possible (including upcoming events and whatnot) to keep residents informed. I firmly believe that is the way it should be...I report what I can to provide a service to the residents.
David Murphy June 22, 2012 at 01:04 AM
cutop - Actually, I am the one that screens the comments at the Courier. I have never seen Clif Smith care about posted comments. When I have brought to his attention some comments that were highly critical of him, he couldn't care less if they were published (and I did put them online). He has also published "Letters to the Editor" in the paper that are highly critical of him. I also welcome and have published many comments that are critical of The Courier and/or just disagree with the Couriers coverage of a story. I will tell you that if I don't approve a comment it is because the comment contains commentary that "hits below the belt". (For example to cite the writing skills of a reporter at first grade level is not appropriate - and I am not saying you have done this, but just giving a general example). The comment you wrote above is a perfect example of a comment that I would have no issues posting. I am a big fan of all opinions, just as long as they are not (or approach) being personal or just thrashing for the sake of it. Respectfully, David Murphy
George Vreeland Hill June 22, 2012 at 01:50 AM
I would like to clear something up about what I wrote. While I would have set aside more money to advertise on Patch, it does not mean that I would spend any less on the print publications. I have a very high regard for the Courier and the Weekly. Those papers are informative and they have high standards of ethics and are both popular. It is just that the Patch is also popular and it is interactive. When you have a site where council members and a mayor and former mayors can discuss issues directly with the public, then you have a site that people want and will go to. Since the Patch is becoming more and more popular, yes, I would have put aside more money for Patch advertising. Since the council put aside a reserve, I would add some of that to Patch. We in Beverly Hills are lucky that we have a site like this and newspapers that keep us in the know.
cutop June 22, 2012 at 02:09 AM
David Murphy - Thanks for the response. In the past, I've attempted to post similar comments to what I stated above as well as pointing out other articles I've found to be complete fictionalizations in the Courier. I've always been extremely cordial, knowing that is a stated requirement. Still, none of my comments have appeared. Today, when researching the stats I've presented above, I noticed that there aren't a lot of comments at all the Courier's site at all. Where I did see a comment, it was just a one-off innocuous statement – no real engagement as is the case here at Patch. Perhaps Clif's mandate will now change. I trust you'll do a good job moderating the few comments that come in over there, but I'm done with reading your employer's publication. I really can't stomach what passes for journalism over there. It's clearly biased and driven by Clif to tell certain narratives. I've sworn of reading it for almost a year now. Several of my neighbors have made similar resolutions.
Marie Cunningham (Editor) June 22, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Dear Readers, I have just read in the latest edition of the "Courier" that I, Marie Cunningham, said in open session during the June 7 council study session that Beverly Hills Patch "would post anything the council wanted for free." This is not true. What I said was that I would post announcements and press releases for free, which I always have done and always will do. As the editor and head reporter for Beverly Hills Patch, I am able to do this as a service to the city at no cost. I also said that I have no control over advertising, so for the "Courier" to claim that I said I would post anything for free (with the implication that I was referring to ads) is flat-out wrong. The story I am referring to is on page 4 of the "Courier" if you would like to give it a read. It is under the headline "Council Majority Cuts Off Courier, Residents From News, Information." Note that there is no byline. Best, Marie Cunningham Editor, Beverly Hills Patch (Please feel free to email me at mariec@patch.com if you ever have thoughts, comments or questions.)
cutop June 22, 2012 at 10:12 PM
When there is no byline, it's probably Clif... and it's probably half-truths meant to serve his narrative (and arrogance). The headline of that article speaks volumes about the author's bias. Glad I stopped reading that trash paper.
Bledsoe June 29, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Ms.Bosse never takes a position or makes a vote that the Courier does not approve. She is Clif' Smith's puppet, not a "Reform Member" as he has anointed her. Just look at her record. So you must cut her some slack on not hearing what Ms Cunningham actually said, she was probably reading a missive from Clif Smith on how to vote on her phone. No matter what her rational, she voted against awarding Patch advertising dollars, which is how every website pays for itself. If in fact she believes that Patch needs no income, then you have to wonder about her common sense. Patch serves a vital function for Beverly Hills - it delivers straight news without editorial overtones in a timely and clear manner. I hope the site flourishes and more people read it.

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