| 03 August 2010In high school at Greeley , a close friend and fellow lineman on the football team was Jim Naismith (Mother was Grace Naismith, an editor, and whose grandfather invented basketball)..I frequently hiked up from Millwood to 7 Bridges to see the late Anita McRae, whose father Cuyler was a roving editor and whose glamorous mother was for many years the Digest receptionist. Those are my early associations.
As a marketing supervisor for J Walter Thompson, (advertising agency for the Digest Account in the early 60s) I regularly visited the Digest to work with business manager Al Cole and the retail circulation department. Basically the Digest was home - subscription fueled but the newstand brought new opportunity and I worked with Ben Dolphin, newstand s.ales director. Newstand sales is a rough business and Ben was recently a Syracuse University boxer and knew how to keep the Digest visible to the public on display.
At J Walter Thompson, we persuaded them to take the magazine nationally into supermarkets and sell it as a grocery product. That was my job.
The most heavily traveled section of the supermarket was the dairy department so we placed boxes of the Digest, suspended, in the dairy section with milk and cheese, in suspended display cases. (Click Read More above)
After a successful period, we moved the Digest to the checkout and displayed it as an impulse item for consumers
waiting in line to pay for purchases The result influenced thousands of US supermarkets and established
a much copied trend.
This step was the first in the direction of putting reading material at checkout and brought the supermarkets new revenue sources from many publishers who saw the potential for increased sales to customers waiting in line to checkout. Of course publications paid the stores for this new display medium.
These are my few additions to the history of the Readers Digest..as a high schooler and as an adult—a bit of nuts and bolts to add to the glamor.
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