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The neighborhood newspaper read by over 80% of area residents.*

Readership: 104,000 • Circulation: 60,000

 

*2016 Survey by the Circulation Verification Council

Villager Editorial Content

You may send press releases, calendar items and editorial questions to: news@myvillager.com

Send letters to the editor and op-ed submissions to: letters@myvillager.com

Interlaced with local advertising, the Villager's regular news coverage includes:

  • General News
  • Crime Report
  • Opinion
  • District Council News
  • Food
  • Business
  • Arts
  • Kiosk/Events
  • Education
  • Religion
  • Sports

Villager also publishes special sections, including:

  • Voters Guide
  • Home Improvement
  • Health and Fitness
  • Gardening
  • Real Estate
  • Education
  • Summer Camps
  • Boomers & Beyond
  • Backstories
  • Holiday Gift Ideas

For more information:
Publication Dates, Deadlines & Special Sections
Door-to-Door Distribution Area Map
Newsstand Distribution Map

 

The neighborhood newspaper read by over 80% of area residents.
Readership: 104,000 • Circulation: 60,000

2016 Survey by the Circulation Verification Council

2016 Calendar

2017 Calendar

Editorial News Deadlines

Villager Display Ads

"The Ad in a Box"

I have a question. Who should I talk to?
Email displayads@myvillager.com or call 651-699-1462.

I want to contact my acccount executive. Who do I talk to?
Call 651-699-1462 or email:
Tim Carroll
Bob Stjern

I want to learn more about Villager, right here, right now!
Here is a useful link for that:
Full Media Kit

Or you can go straight to the information you're looking for:
Publication Dates and Special Issues
Reader Demographics
Door-to-Door Distribution Area Map
Newsstand Distribution Map

Advertising Policies and Production Specs
Pre-printed Insert Order Form

What will my ads cost?
For current Villager display advertising rates:
Email displayads@myvillager.com or call 651-699-1462.

 

 

The neighborhood newspaper read by over 80% of area residents.
Readership: 104,000 • Circulation: 60,000

2016 Survey by the Circulation Verification Council

2016 Calendar

2017 Calendar

Editorial News Deadlines

Villager Classified Ads

"We're Talking Results"

Ask anyone who has ever tried them. They'll tell you that the Villager's classified ads are THE neighborhood marketplace for the exchange of local goods and services. The cost is low, the readership high, and the home-delivered market coverage complete. You'll be amazed at what happens when your ad reaches more than 140,000 readers.

To place a classified ad, follow these simple steps:

1) Compose your ad.

2) Choose the category under which you'd like your ad to run.

Classified Categories

  • 100 Special Events (seasonal)
  • 101 For Sale
  • 102 Antiques/Appraisals, Collectibles, Art
  • 103 Garage/Moving/Estate
  • 104 Boutiques/Craft Sales
  • 105 Crafters Wanted
  • 106 Autos/Boats/Cycles
  • 107 Real Estate/Land
  • 108 Real Estate Wanted
  • 109 Wanted To Buy
  • 110 Consignments
  • 111 Holiday Boutiques
  • 112 Holiday Gifts
  • 113 Holiday Services
  • 201 Home Improvement
  • 202 Home Service
  • 203 Commercial Service
  • 204 Housecleaning
  • 205 Commercial Cleaning
  • 301 Lawn, Landscape & Snow
  • 401 Accounting & Taxes
  • 402 Legal Service
  • 403 Insurance
  • 404 Office/Administrative
  • 405 Marketing/Media
  • 406 Web/Graphic Design
  • 407 Computer/Internet
  • 408 Photography/Video
  • 409 Photo Editing
  • 410 Professional Service
  • 411 Special Service
  • 412 Personal Service
  • 413 Housesitting
  • 414 Pet Care/Services
  • 415 Beauty Services/Products
  • 416 Salon/Spa
  • 417 Health & Fitness
  • 418 Massage Therapy
  • 419 Spirituality
  • 420 Astrology
  • 421 Sewing/Tailoring, Embroidery
  • 422 Upholstery
  • 423 Catering/Chef
  • 424 Entertainment/Music
  • 501 Music Instruction/Vocal
  • 502 Piano Tuning/Repair
  • 503 Instruction
  • 504 School Openings
  • 505 Summer Programs
  • 601 Child Care Wanted
  • 602 Child Care
  • 603 Home/Health Care Wanted
  • 604 Health Care Provider
  • 700 Resumes
  • 701 Help Wanted
  • 702 Situations Wanted
  • 703 Business Opportunity
  • 704 Volunteers/Host Families
  • 705 Family Resources
  • 706 Social Networking
  • 707 College Counseling
  • 801 For Rent-Residential
  • 802 For Rent-Commercial
  • 803 Roommates Wanted
  • 804 Wanted to Rent
  • 805 Garage/Storage
  • 901 Announcements
  • 902 Vacation/Travel
  • 903 Personals
  • 904 Lost & Found
  • 905 Free! Free! Free!
  • 906 Rides Wanted
  • 907 Other:

3) Decide in which issues you'd like to advertise and email, fax or deliver your ad to our offices along with your phone number.

4) Wait for an email from us to discuss composition, pricing and run dates.

Pricing

Classified ads are $1.20 per word, with a minimum of 10 words or $12. Payment is in advance by cash, check or credit card. A 5% discount for prepayment of 7-12 issues and a 10% discount for prepayment of 13-26 issues is available.

Dates

For a complete listing of publication dates, download our media kit.

Classified ad contact information:

Villager Communications, Inc.
757 Snelling Ave S
St Paul, MN 55116-2296

Phone: 651-699-1462
Fax: 651-699-6501
Email: wantads@myvillager.com

Composition

Classifieds are composed as straight-line word ads without the benefit of special fonts, bold characters, underlining, etc. The following hints will help you get the best return on your advertising dollar:

In most cases, the first two words of your ad are printed in upper-case letters. Therefore, putting company's name, types of service, main item(s) for sale, neighborhood or address of rental/for-sale properties first is a good way to catch the eye, i.e.:

LEE'S LANDSCAPING. Spring
cleanup, garden planting, mulching
and trimming. 651-111-2222.

SPRING CLEANUP, garden planting,
mulching and trimming by Lee's Landscaping,
651-111-2222.

Or you can highlight this information by having it centered on the first line. This option is charged as 5 words.

.............*LEE'S LANDSCAPING*
Spring cleanup, garden planting, mulching
and trimming. 651-111-2222.

Remember to include information regarding experience, professional licenses or memberships:

LEE'S LANDSCAPING. Spring cleanup,
garden planting, mulching and trimming.
15 years' experience, member Ramsey
County Green Thumb Society. Licensed
and insured. 651-111-2222.

In the case of rental or for-sale property, descriptions of desirable features, exclusions and lease rates are important:

20XX LOON AVE. 2-bedroom upper duplex
in desirable Merriam Park. Natural woodwork,
hardwood floors, remodeled kitchen,
large deck, fenced yard. No smoking/pets.
$800/month. 651-111-2222.

2016 Calendar

2017 Calendar

Editorial News Deadlines

A brief, 60-year history of the Villager

Just as the news reported in the Villager has chronicled the changes in the neighborhoods it has served over the years, the Villager itself has changed--from its format to its method of production to its circulation area. But in paging through the Villagers of the past 60 years, perhaps the most striking change is in what was deemed to be newsworthy at the time. Newspaper content, to a large degree, reflects the priorities of the editors and publishers who are responsible for producing it.

The Villager was founded in 1953 by recent University of Minnesota graduates Arnold Hed and Barry Prichard as an answer to the marketing needs of Highland Village businesses. It was to be a freely distributed advertising medium that would provide 100 percent penetration in those businesses' primary market: the Highland Park and Macalester-Groveland neighborhoods of St. Paul and the adjacent Longfellow and Nokomis neighborhoods of Minneapolis. The Villager became the first newspaper in the Twin Cities to straddle the Mississippi River, and local businesses could now reach their primary audience without bearing the prohibitive cost of advertising in both cities' daily newspapers.

As it turned out, the birth of the Villager foreshadowed a nationwide trend in the emergence and growth of urban and suburban community newspapers. That phenomenon accelerated in the Twin Cities with the arrival in the 1960s of an East Coast group that founded what became Minnesota Sun Publications, a group of suburban weekly newspapers that were eventually acquired by Dallas-based American Community Newspapers LLC until their recent purchase by ECM Publishers of Coon Rapids, Minnesota.

It had been Hed's and Prichard's dream to launch a similar chain of newspapers in the Twin Cities before Uncle Sam intervened. Barely a month into their nascent publishing venture, both men were drafted for the Korean War.

Haas at the helm

Hed and Prichard sold their fledgling Villager in early 1953 after publishing just three editions. The new owners were Elizabeth Haas and silent partner Bessie Jones, who had been longtime colleagues at Commercial Press, a Minneapolis printing company that had printed those first three editions of the Villager. Haas was the office manager at Commercial Press, and Jones, who had been vice president, was still on the company's board of directors. A third Commercial Press colleague, Elmer Huset, was hired to manage and edit the flagship--and ultimately only--enterprise of the newly incorporated Haas-Jones Enterprises. Haas, Jones and Huset immediately set out to make changes in the Villager, first by switching to a twice-a-month rather than a weekly publication cycle to increase the product's shelf life.

The Villagers of the 1950s served primarily as neighborhood bulletin boards, chock-full of brief news items about people and events in the neighborhoods that the newspaper served. Paging through the morgue of those yellowed editions reveals a growing array of schools, churches, service clubs and other organizations that availed themselves of the free publicity the newspaper provided. However, the newspaper provided scant coverage of the bigger local stories of that era.

If the early Villagers could be said to have an editorial voice, it was lent to amplifying the promotional efforts of individual merchants and the Highland Business Association. News and views of the association, which was incorporated as a nonprofit organization the same year that Haas-Jones bought the paper, almost always rated front-page coverage. In fact, for a time in the 1950s the newspaper did not even accept advertising from outside its coverage area, a decision no doubt made in the interest of local commercial boosterism.

Bacigalupo buys in

Huset died suddenly in 1958. Haas then hired a University of Minnesota journalism student, Ron Bacigalupo, to help out.

Bacigalupo was brought on primarily to sell advertising, but he also took photos and wrote stories. "The Villager wasn't much more than a shopper in the early days," Bacigalupo once said. "It was full of short news items that fit around the ads, with a front page that lionized the local merchants. But I wasn't going to journalism school to tell the world about the local Junior Achievement award-winners. I told the boss I wanted to write a column.

"Haas' response, delivered in her inimitable German accent, was, 'You're a lousy speller!' I recall wondering how we ever won World War II."

The Villager became a true chronicler of local people and events in the 1960s. The banner on the Villager's front page also evolved, reflecting not only its changing editorial scope but its distribution area: from proclaiming the newspaper as the "Official Publication of Highland Village Merchants" to the publication for "Highland Park, South Minneapolis, Fort Snelling and Mendota Heights" to "The Good Life in Your Community." Circulation by that time had climbed from its original 12,000 to 26,100.

In 1969 Bacigalupo, who had tapped two financial backers to buy the Villager that year, set out to build what he hoped would be his own publishing empire. He and his investors also bought the Twin Citian, the region's first city magazine and predecessor of today's Mpls. St. Paul.

In retrospect, Bacigalupo admitted he had taken on a Herculean task in trying to publish both a monthly magazine and a twice-monthly newspaper. "I was ready to start a revolution," he said, "but there wasn't enough dry ammunition to sustain it."

In the spring of 1970, Maurice Mischke severed his ties with a small St. Paul publishing company called Imagination Inc. that he and three business partners had formed as a moonlighting venture in 1959. Mischke had been employed as the business manager for Arnold Niemeyer and Associates, a St. Paul advertising agency, from 1954 until 1969 when he jumped into Imagination Inc. full time. He could not have imagined that his tenure as president of the company would be so brief.

After selling his interest in Imagination Inc. the following year, Mischke started his own one-man public relations firm, Maury Mischke Associates. Bacigalupo heard of Mischke's search for office space in the Highland area and offered him free rent in the Villager's leased offices at 790 S. Cleveland Ave. in exchange for doing the Villager's books.

"Maury kept telling me I was losing money," Bacigalupo said. With other publishing opportunities on the horizon, Bacigalupo decided to jump ship. Selling the Villager to Mischke to cover the Twin Citian's substantial printing debts gave Bacigalupo what he termed "the best and most honorable way out.

Mischke makes it his

Mischke bought the Villager in December of 1970. He soon learned that getting the Villager back on its financial feet would be a daunting task. The first issue under Mischke's ownership actually lost money.

"He told me it might be rough at first--the first five years or so," said Mischke's wife, Jeanette, and mother of their eight children, then ages 6 to 18. "But running his own newspaper was something he always wanted to do. We both knew it was unlikely he'd get another chance."

"What motivated him to buy the Villager was his love for the newspaper business in general," said Michael Mischke, 60, Maurice's son and successor as Villager publisher. "He liked the idea of being a big fish in a small pond, he liked the neighborhood, and he liked being in a position to make a difference in the lives of his readers and advertisers."

Jeanette Mischke joined the Villager staff as classified ad manager in March of 1975. Michael was named editor in May of 1976, having served as editor of the St. John's University student newspaper during his senior year, just as his father had done 29 years before.

The ensuing years brought many changes. Increasing advertising revenue resulted in bigger papers, more employees and dramatic improvements in both the editorial product and the newspaper's design. That growth, in turn, prompted a search for larger quarters to house a larger staff and, for the first time, the paper's own pre-press production facilities.

The building at 757 S. Snelling Ave. that now houses the business came on the market in 1981 at a time when the prime lending rate was 21 percent. With the assistance of Highland Bank, the Villager was approved for the first and only lower-interest Minnesota Small Business Finance Agency loan the state would ever make.

Even as circulation of the Villager continued to grow, first to 36,000, then to 45,000, another opportunity presented itself with the purchase of an adjacent neighborhood newspaper, the Grand Gazette, in August 1984. Michael Mischke was named publisher of that paper, even as he continued to serve as executive editor of the Villager.

In November 1985, the Villager and Gazette were incorporated as businesses of Villager Communications Inc., with Maurice as chairman and treasurer, Michael as president and Jeanette as secretary.

Jeanette Mischke retired from the family business in January 1989. Health problems told Maurice he should do likewise, "but he never got around to it," Michael said. Maurice died from congestive heart failure on August 19, 1991.

A son's ascension

As the publisher and sole stockholder of Villager Communications Inc. since that time, Michael, with the assistance of right-hand man and chief executive officer John Rauch, has seen the company through three recessions, several key staff changes, the purchase of greatly enhanced production equipment, and the folding of the company's graphics arts division.

"The graphics division was created primarily to produce the papers," Mischke said. "With the efficiencies we realized from constantly updated hardware and software, and with the talents of all of those who helped produce our newspapers, we no longer needed a graphics division. Besides, that part of the business was losing money."

The Grand Gazette was not losing money in August 2003 when it was reborn as Avenues, St. Paul's News & Arts Monthly. However, the Gazette was having a hard time competing with the older, larger and twice as frequently published Villager. By that time the Gazette had grown from 12,000 to 22,000 in circulation.

Rather than fold the Gazette into the Villager, Mischke opted to relaunch the newspaper as Avenues, a publication more suited to complement the Villager, both in its news and advertising content.

According to Mischke, the ensuing four years were the best revenue-producing years the business had ever seen. However, by 2007 a changing media landscape dictated a new approach to local newspapering. With a series of ownership changes and staff layoffs and buyouts at the Twin Cities' two daily newspapers, Mischke decided it was an opportune time to do what his father had contemplated doing back in 1982 when he bought the Gazette. He folded Avenues into a redesigned Villager, expanding the circulation of what was already the largest neighborhood newspaper in the Twin Cities to 60,000 copies.

According to Mischke, the larger Villager created a better value for advertisers, simplified sales and marketing, expanded the door-to-door and newsstand distribution, and combined the best design and editorial content of both newspapers, including the use of full color on almost every page.

The future of neighborhood news

Even with increasing competition in all facets of the media business, the Villager is now in a better position to thrive in the niche it occupies in the local marketplace, according to Mischke.

"The reason the Villager was born is the same reason it exists today," he said. "There's a strong and growing demand for news and advertising of a distinctly local nature, and though we know we can always improve, the staff here and the stable of freelance talent we've attracted are capable of meeting that demand as well or better than anyone."

According to Mischke, the future of neighborhood newspapers hinges largely on the future of the neighborhoods they serve. "What makes the Villager successful," he said, "is our ability to produce a quality newspaper with a depth and breadth of local news coverage that the daily newspapers can't hope to match, to deliver that newspaper to an attractive, loyal, well-educated readership, and to deliver that readership to a solid base of largely locally owned businesses that depend on those readers as loyal customers.

"We continue to do that and, though you won't see me sitting here 60 years from now, you will still see the Villager, in one form or another."

1953 Villager

1963 Villager

1973 Villager

1983 Villager

1993 Villager

2003 Villager

2013 60th Anniversary Villager

Villager Policies

Advertising and insert rates are non-commissionable.

The publisher reserves the right to reject or revise any ad or insert that he deems to be objectionable. Advertisements that demean any individual, race, religion, sex, institution, firm, business, profession, organization or affectional preference will not be accepted.

Any advertisement having the appearance of editorial material will have "Advertisement" printed above it. (In case it somehow doesn't, we'll insert it for you.)

The advertiser and/or advertising agency agrees to defend and indemnify the publisher against any and all liability resulting from the publication of the advertisement.

The publisher will not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement, or for any other errors appearing in the advertisement unless the publisher received corrected copy before the copy deadline with corrections plainly noted thereon. However, if the mistake was ours, we'll make all reasonable amends.

If, for whatever reason your ad or preprinted insert does not make it into the paper, we'll make sure it's in the next issue–free.

Any display ad cancelled after the space reservation deadline is subject to a cancellation fee of $3.00 per column inch ($30 minimum–see deadlines on calendar). Any display ad cancelled after 12:00 p.m. on the day following the space reservation deadline will be charged at the full rate. (In other words, you can pull it, but you still pay for it.)

Artwork and all other items created by the newspaper are understood to be the newspaper's property. Such items will be stored for a period of time at the newspaper's discretion.

Political Advertising

In true democratic fashion, we offer our political advertisers the same advertising rates and discounts as everyone else. However, political ads are accepted with payment in advance only.

While we may agree that too many laws exist governing political advertising, we'll do our best to help you comply so that neither of us gets sued.

Religious Advertising

A discount of 20% is available to churches and synagogues on advertising that refers to services with no admission charge.

Terms of Payment

Payment may be made by cash, check or credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover).

Credit account applicants must complete and remit a signed credit application. Ask your account executive for details. Until we get the results, you'll need to pre-pay.

All pre-payments must be received by the display ad deadline (see deadlines on calendar). If not, we must regretfully cancel your ad and charge a cancellation fee of $3 per column inch ($30 minimum).

A service charge of $30 will be added to any check returned to Villager Communications unpaid by the advertiser's bank.

Villager Contact Information

Publisher

Michael Mischke: mmischke@myvillager.com

Chief executive officer

John Rauch: jrauch@myvillager.com

Editorial

Press releases, calendar items and editorial questions: news@myvillager.com
Letters to the editor and op-ed submissions: letters@myvillager.com

Display ad sales

For general inquiry, send an email to displayads@myvillager.com

Tim Carroll: tcarroll@myvillager.com
Bob Stjern: bob@myvillager.com

Classified ad sales

For general inquiry, send an email to wantads@myvillager.com

Mary Helen Pates: mpates@myvillager.com
Jennifer Gordon: jgordon@myvillager.com

Subscriptions

If you are out of our distribution area and would like a copy mailed to you, give us a call at 651-699-1462 or email us at subscriptions@myvillager.com. Paid subscriptions are $38 per year. Home delivered subscriptions to the area we serve are free!

Mailing address, phone and fax

Villager Communications Inc.
757 Snelling Ave S
St Paul, MN 55116-2296

Phone: 651-699-1462
Fax: 651-699-6501

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