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StreetWise: Circulation Drops, But Vendor Income Climbs

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Circulation dropped at Chicago’s StreetWise magazine after it doubled its cover price last month. But it’s not all bad news for the non-profit publication or its vendors.

In November, StreetWise bumped its cover price from one dollar, up to two. Publisher Michael Speer says he expected that to scare off some customers, and it did. But he says it’s not hurting the vendors, many of whom are homeless.

SPEERS: They were making 65-cents a paper before. Now they’re making $1.25 a paper. So even if there was a 10 to 15 percent drop in circulation, they’re still going to far ahead.

Speers also says the design makeover that accompanied the higher price tag is paying off. He says advertising revenue is up for the non-profit, a rare thing for any publication in this economy.

I’m Sam Hudzik, Chicago Public Radio.

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