Julie Tonsign
Barbara Baker/Courtesy photo


How to grow special section revenue

Come hear Julie and fellow revenue generators from her papers share how they successfully pull together special sections and projects. Learn how they decide what to do, how they plan them, how they sell them and how they put them together as a winner-winner-chicken-dinner success. “It’s not all about the money the paper makes. We try to always increase the cash register ringing for our customers, too, or at least bring a very important topic to the forefront for our readers and advertisers,” said Julie.

Some of these special sections lead to an event happening and they will share how those work together hand and hand. This session will be good for the ad rep wanting to make more money as well as for the sales manager wanting that ad rep to make more money. Great money-making tips and copies of some of their projects will be available for taking.


Julie Tonsing has been in the newspaper business for nearly 28 years. She started in finance at the Sterling Journal-Advocate and advanced to regional financial officer for ECPC, a group of eight newspapers primarily on the eastern plains of Colorado and Estes Park. In the consolidation process, Julie was offered the publisher position in Fort Morgan, a position she holds today. Along the way in the past seven years, she was also named as publisher of the Sterling Journal-Advocate and in August 2016 of the South Platte Sentinel, the weekly newspaper in Sterling, when the company purchased it.

Growing up on the financial side of the newspaper world, she quickly saw the importance of revenue growth and the outcome without it. She was called upon to sell sig pages, wrote an advertorial money-making column “Julie’s Jauntings” years ago and helped with sales of special sections when needed. She enjoyed that and has carried that experience and pleasure into her roles as publisher.

Her papers succeed with special sections and projects, from varying themes and scopes. “We do one or two page breast cancer awareness projects or whatever the calendar dictates to 64-page $35,000 magazines. I love creating new revenue streams that add variety and depth to our papers for our readers and advertisers, as well as new opportunities and challenges for our editorial and advertising departments,” she said. “We’re always doing something new and fun, and hopefully, profitable, too! I am so lucky to have the best teams, and you absolutely have to have that!”

Al Manzi, President and CEO of Prairie Mountain Media, the parent company of Tonsing’s three newspapers, has this to say, “Julie has led our company in creating and designing special sections and projects that have been some of the most successful in the company. Great examples are the twice annual agriculture section, a fire section she put together that became part of a firefighters state convention program, city event sections, and of course, ones tied to holidays. Her sales team always has a shiny new toy to sell and that is part of why she has exceeded her goals year after year and her advertisers are always looking for something new. Her special projects always include an important digital component as well.”