The Edinburg Review and Valley Town Crier have been recognized for exceptional distribution and readership with the Circulation Verification Council’s (CVC) Gold Standard Award for 2008-2009.

“Last year CVC issued audit data for over 4,000 editions in North America. In 2009 40 elite publications earned the CVC Gold Standard Award with top scores in receivership (delivery accuracy), readership (percentage of circulation read), distribution (demand distribution), and purchase scores (advertising purchase influence),” said Tim A. Bingaman, president and CEO of CVC. “Your publication is truly the best of the best!”

The Edinburg Review and Valley Town Crier distribute 116,00 copies every week in the communities of western and central Hidalgo County and have a readership of over 200,000.

“We are excited and honored to receive The Gold Standard Award,” said Dennis C. Wade, regional director of American Consolidated Media’s South Texas Publications. “This puts The Valley Town Crier and Edinburg Review in the top 1 percent of the 4,000 papers the CVC audits in the United States. I am very proud of my team for achieving this high level of quality performance and grateful to have such loyal readers and outstanding clients.”

While many daily newspapers across the country struggle with declines in advertising and circulation, community newspapers are reporting circulation gains across the country, according to CVC audit data. Forty-five percent of community newspapers reported growth for the first half of 2009, the audit showed.

“Obviously, this is good news and it’s great to see an appetite to cover it,” said Dan Holmes, president of the board of PaperChain, an newspaper industry group, referring to recent positive coverage of community newspapers. “Our peers at NNA (National Newspaper Association) started the cheers with their survey of 500 adults, and we’re excited to be able to back their local community findings with thousands — actually tens of thousands — of independent zip-level phone surveys. CVC’s work on that front has been critical and their longstanding partnership invaluable.”

The good news from community newspaper is even better news for advertisers.

According to the CVC audit, the number of readers indicating they frequently purchase products or services from advertisements seen in their community and niche publications is up over a point from last year, topping three out of four with a 75.6 percent score.

“This increase is potentially significant, because purchase intention scores have been stable for years,” said Bingaman. “A blip in the national average of one to two percent requires substantial change in purchasing behaviors from existing readers. This shows that readers are increasingly looking to community and niche publications to research sales and buying opportunities before spending money.”

The Valley Town Crier and Edinburg Review are part of American Consolidated Media’s South Texas Publications group, which also includes the Bargain Books which cover Cameron County and eastern Hidalgo County and Laredo, the Rio Grande Herald in Starr County and Ad Sack in Corpus Christi.