JACKSON,NJ-The Jackson Township Council has criticized JTOWN Magazine over the local news magazine’s support of American union labor in a recent outburst at a town hall meeting. The township council lashed out at JTOWN Magazine’s open print rate of $800 for a single insertion in the magazine, despite that rate being lower than rates advertised in the Jackson Times which was referenced as a “cheaper alternative”.
“The council’s claim is without factual basis, uniformed and nothing but an attack on our publication because our news coverage wasn’t to their favor during the last election,” said Editor Phil Stilton. “It’s also an assault against hard working union labor in America. Nothing but more political hyperbole of politicians protecting their own campaign gravy train.”
Stilton said JTOWN Magazine proudly utilizes union labor in their production and delivery process.
“We offer a better quality product and reach more homes than our competitors, at a lower rate and with full utilization of union labor from production to delivery,” Stilton added. “We can of course lower our rates significantly if we had our magazine delivered by non-union drivers who speed through neighborhoods in unmarked white utility vans, throwing it in driveways, but I have respect for our unions, our product and our residents, so I choose to use the United States Postal Service. We’re one of their biggest clients in Jackson Township and proud to do our part to support the United States Postal Service and to help keep members of the American Postal Workers Union employed despite a massive downturn in their industry. I am a believer in the post office and their union employees. I am a supporter of union labor. No media in Ocean County supports union labor like we do, including our police unions.”
“I would have expected then Council President Robert Nixon to have interjected this assault on unions by his council partners,” Stilton added. “After all, Mr. Nixon is a lobbyist for the New Jersey State PBA and understands more than anyone else the importance of labor unions and workers rights in America and the cost associated with treating America’s workers better.”
Stilton said the added benefits to the town are also beneficial to the community. Nearly 10,000 Jackson residents follow JTOWN Magazine on social media where the company regularly posts township news, council meeting minutes, agenda postings and meeting dates and reports to the community. Micromedia, the competitor reference by the township reaches just 2,400. JTOWN Magazine regularly promotes and supports community charities, providing free advertising to schools and other community causes and dedicated pages of its magazine each month to efforts such as increasing drug awareness, safe driving for students, non-profits, sports leagues and whoever asks for the free services it provides the community.
“The added bonus of the publication being put in mailboxes comes with an unfortunate cost,” Stilton added. “However that cost is negated by the fact that it doesn’t sit on driveways in rain and snow or blow away to litter our community and block storm drains, which is a complaint I have heard from township workers who clear storm drains.”
Stilton also said the township knew the numbers before the statement was made, but made the remarks regardless in an effort to discredit the publication in public. In January of 2016, Stilton contacted township business administrator Helene Schlegel to inform her of the township not taking advantage of pre-scheduling and bulk insertions.
“I reached out to the town last January as I did every year prior to work on lowering the rates. Even though one department paid $800 for a single insertion, the Recreation Department who did negotiate a rate and a package campaign saved the township hundreds of dollars,” Stilton said. “Business is about negotiating. Even though our published rates are lower than the others, we do allow for bulk discounts and some level of negotiating contracts. I cannot be blamed if a department chose to just run a single insertion. They had no other ads to run all year. I asked the township to bundle all of the spending into one contract to lower the rates, but the township was not interested in bundling all departments together for lower rates.”
“The fabricated story by the township was also covered recently in a political attack blog that further shows the intent of their predatory and harmful intent,” Stilton said. “Contrary to what the council, who reads bills and claims only minutes before arriving in town hall claim, JTOWN Magazine has a wonderful working relationship with the Township of Jackson and values that relationship. It seems that a couple of councilmembers for whatever their reason is, don’t want to maintain that relationship.”
“I also found out that the same council members who balked at our rates had no problem paying that same rate for their political campaign ads just weeks before in another publication,” Stilton said. “Councilmen Nixon, Calogero and Bressi had no problem paying that rate when the money came from high powered politically aligned professionals in return for six figure contract awards to those professionals.”
While the council claims a competitor can run the same ad for $595, they failed to mention that same publication also charges $225 for color. JTOWN magazine includes color in their rates.
“The township should immediately issue a retraction or correction on those false statements and maybe make a statement based in the world of reality,” Stilton added. “I have asked the township to do an apples to apples audit of print advertising many times over the years and they refuse to hold publishers accountable to their numbers and their claims. JTOWN Magazine mails out 21,500 magazines each month and our numbers are certified by the hard working postal employees. I have been told by mayors in other towns that the competitor’s circulation is only 10,000 copies, which would make our rates 1/2 the price of theirs per home. When you factor in mailbox delivery and all of the things we do for the township for free outside of advertising rates, they can’t find a better deal, but if they want to use the alternative, that’s their choice. They have a history of making bad decisions, so this is par for the course. What is truly in exorbitant in Jackson is the rampant nepotism and political patronage.”
“Due to the misinformation presented by this council, we had several advertisers leave us this week,” Stilton added. “In the end, making some cuts this month, I have to cut our charity sponsorships in order to print this month, but we’ll make up for it next month or the month after.”
“I will not let this local governing body impede on our first amendment right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press,” Stilton concluded. “This is Jackson Township, not Nazi Germany. We are free to speak our voices and opinions without political persecution.”