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Old 03-08-2012, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
606 posts, read 1,514,164 times
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Call it curiosity, but does anyone know how the news hawkers at the Metro stations are compensated? Some seem sort of passive and others seem absurdly aggressive, so it's made me wonder what sort of incentives they might have.

Since the papers that are hawked are free, I'm not sure how anyone would keep track of how many they gave out, so it would seem difficult to compensate based on "sales". Then again, maybe the "incentive" is to get rid of as many of them as quickly as possible.
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:55 PM
 
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Wow, I'm giving away my age, but the last time I saw newspaper hawkers was the day JFK was shot----and they were the "extra, extra read all about it" variety. It was like something out of a movie.
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Old 03-09-2012, 05:05 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,837,713 times
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Sometimes I see activists at the Smithsonian station handing out flyers to promote their cause or to ask people to contact their senator for some issue or another. I think they target that station because it has a lot of tourists. Is that what you're talking about?

At the other stations I use, the newspapers are just sitting there in racks or vending machines.
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Old 03-09-2012, 05:17 AM
 
163 posts, read 261,664 times
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Print publications don't really make money on subscriptions, they make money selling their readership's eyeballs to advertisers. It's probably worth it to give away five thousand copies to people exiting and entering a particular Metro station so they can increase their distribution and readership numbers and charge more for ad rates. Publication auditing companies do statistical reviews based on monthly runs to verify their subscription claims and justify the rates they charge. It's very similar to the popular "sweeps" period on TV where the networks show new episodes and cliffhangers to lure more viewers and thus are able to charge more for advertising in the coming months.

These kids probably get minimum wage to sit there hand hand them out until the supply is exhausted.
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:49 AM
 
518 posts, read 782,507 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiderotsGhost View Post
Call it curiosity, but does anyone know how the news hawkers at the Metro stations are compensated? Some seem sort of passive and others seem absurdly aggressive, so it's made me wonder what sort of incentives they might have.

Since the papers that are hawked are free, I'm not sure how anyone would keep track of how many they gave out, so it would seem difficult to compensate based on "sales". Then again, maybe the "incentive" is to get rid of as many of them as quickly as possible.
I'm not sure, I'll ask one of the guys I get my express from on Monday and let you know.
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:52 AM
 
Location: In the woods
3,315 posts, read 8,776,153 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiderotsGhost View Post
Call it curiosity, but does anyone know how the news hawkers at the Metro stations are compensated?
I think you're talking about the folks handing out the express newspaper? Not sure about compensation but they do have some kind of "Staffer of the Month" or "Employee of the Month" as this person gets mentioned in the paper and has a photograph.

This is a good question tho.
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Old 03-10-2012, 12:42 AM
 
493 posts, read 1,007,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithy77 View Post
Wow, I'm giving away my age, but the last time I saw newspaper hawkers was the day JFK was shot----and they were the "extra, extra read all about it" variety. It was like something out of a movie.

Oh, you're not THAT old!

What about on 9/11? I know the Post was running the presses longer than usual and selling them outside the main building, and I think the WashTimes was extending its press run, too.

Yup -- it's something you don't see nowadays. I wonder if the New York tabs do any of this...
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Old 03-10-2012, 05:47 AM
 
Location: Virginia
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I'd like to see vendors hawking The Onion. Can you imagine getting off a train and seeing lots of carriers running around shouting "Extra! Extra!" and whatever headlines the Onion has that day?
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:03 AM
 
493 posts, read 1,007,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
I'd like to see vendors hawking The Onion. Can you imagine getting off a train and seeing lots of carriers running around shouting "Extra! Extra!" and whatever headlines the Onion has that day?

That could be hilarious -- as long as people's eyesight is good enough that they realize that it's the Onion (and know what the Onion is-- so many people still don't, for some reason).
It could give you a good giggle on a busy day.

(My favorite Onion bit is still "God Angrily Clarifies 'Don't Kill' Rule" -- it came out after 9/11.)
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
606 posts, read 1,514,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
I'd like to see vendors hawking The Onion. Can you imagine getting off a train and seeing lots of carriers running around shouting "Extra! Extra!" and whatever headlines the Onion has that day?
One of my favorite Onion memories ever was in Nov 2008, the day after the Presidential election. I was in Crystal City and there was a long line of paper boxes; at least 15-20 of them. Every box in this giant row (except one) had a giant picture of Obama with a headline like "Obama wins" or "Historic Moment".

Then right in the middle of all that was the Onion box, with the giant headline: "KLEMKE WINS HISTORIC WICHITA 4th DISTRICT ALDERMAN RACE!"

Gotta love the Onion!

It would be funny if they had hawkers, but I imagine there would be a few unsuspecting people who would be very confused.
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