Similar Newspapers or Other Publications –
Updated October 1996
This Customer Support Ruling
eligibility of mailing similar copies of newspapers or other
publications under different permits.
Only one permit for Periodicals mailing privileges
may be authorized for a newspaper or other type of periodical
An examination of copies of concurrent issues of two
Periodicals newspapers disclosed that they are identical except for
the titles and identification statements. It appears that the
publisher is publishing the same newspaper under two titles and has
a separate Periodicals authorization for each title. Since under
the present manner of preparation there is in fact only one
newspaper, Periodicals mailing privileges may be authorized only
for one newspaper.
If the publisher can prepare his two newspapers in
such a manner that he can demonstrate by customary journalistic
standards that the newspapers are different, each newspaper can be
considered to be independent for postal purposes. This means that
if the nonadvertising portion in one newspaper differs by at least
20% from the nonadvertising portion in the other newspaper, they
will be considered as being separate and independent newspapers.
It should be noted that this percentage is an
interpretative aid to help us make this determination on a
consistent and fair basis. One method of determining whether the
nonadvertising portions of two publications differ by at least 20%
is as follows:
the nonadvertising content of each publication.
the nonadvertising matter in the publications and, in the
publication with the greater number of column inches of
nonadvertising matter, (publication "A") mark all such matter that
is different from the nonadvertising contents of the other
publication (Publication "B").
the number of column inches of nonadvertising matter in publication
"A" that was marked as different.
the figure from (3) by the total number of column inches of
nonadvertising matter in publication "A".
the result by 100 to express the answer as a percentage.
Anita J. Bizzotto
United States Postal Service
Washington DC 20260-3436