MALIBU—The city of Malibu has renewed its contract with the Malibu Times to publish public notices, announcements and ordinances for an additional two years.
City Council members approved the agreement in a 3-1 vote at Monday night’s meeting. Councilmember Joan House was the sole dissenting vote.
The current agreement with the Malibu Times expires on July 8.
In addition to the Malibu Times, both The Los Angeles Times and Malibu Surfside News submitted offers to the city. According to city staff, the cost of the proposal submitted by The Los Angeles Times was “substantially higher” than the other two offers which were “nearly identical.”
The new contract will pay the Malibu Times $50,000 over the course of two years.
City staff recommended renewing an agreement with the Malibu Times based upon its lower advertising costs and high circulation numbers in comparison to Malibu Surfside News.
The Malibu Times currently has nearly 5,000 weekly subscribers and a circulation of roughly 12,000. Malibu Surfside News does not have subscribers and its weekly circulation reaches close to 8,600.
Mary Hogan, advertising sales director at Malibu Surfside News, disputed the circulation numbers provided in the staff report to council members.
“The spirit of the notice is to communicate and inform the residents of Malibu about the notices and activities of government and events and really the best way to do that is to communicate it to the publication that reaches the most residents in the city,” Hogan said. “I know the comparison was looked at in terms of circulation but at the end of the day we are three times more the circulation within the city. For the Malibu times, some of their papers may go to Agoura Hills or Westlake village, but we do know for sure that we reach all the residents of Malibu.
The city is legally required to publish notices and ordinances in an adjudicated newspaper in general circulation within city limits.