Customer Support Ruling

Similar Newspapers or Other Publications - Periodicals

UPDATED July 2014

PS-141 (207.6)

This CSR discusses the 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 publication.

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:

    • Measure the nonadvertising content of each publication.

    • Compare 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").

    • Measure the number of column inches of nonadvertising matter in publication "A" that was marked as different.

    • Divide the figure from (3) by the total number of column inches of nonadvertising matter in publication "A".

    • Multiply the result by 100 to express the answer as a percentage.

Anita J. Bizzotto


Mailing Standards

Headquarters, US Postal Service

Washington, DC  20260-3436