News & information

FY2014 3rd Quarter report coverage notes gains in postal revenue, improving mail picture

  ·  Various, Various

Much of the news media coverage of USPS’ quarterly report focused on Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe’s statements about losses, something that was also reflected in most headlines. Those stories, though, also noted gains in postal revenue and the improving mail picture. Some stories were excellent, focusing on the improved revenue and explaining how pre-funding is the reason for USPS’ red ink. NALC President Fredric Rolando seemed to be the most-quoted person in the news coverage (after the postmaster general and USPS CFO Joseph Corbett)—a fact that helps get NALC’s position out to readers, listeners and viewers.

The New York Times: Targeted pre-funding in the first paragraph and focused on the positive parts of the quarterly report, even while getting in USPS’ negative picture. Quoted only Donahoe and Rolando (mostly Rolando):

“Given the positive mail trends, it would be irresponsible to degrade services to Americans and their businesses, which would drive away mail — and revenue — and stop the postal turnaround in its tracks,” said Fredric V. Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers. “Lawmakers need to preserve and strengthen the profitable postal networks — which are the future of the U.S.P.S. as it increasingly delivers not just six but seven days a week — while fixing the prefunding fiasco.”

The Wall Street Journal: Reasonable story, with negative quotes from USPS while also citing positive postal trends, singling out pre-funding. Quoted Corbett early in the story: “It's been a very good quarter in a lot of ways…” Gave more space to Rolando, the only other person quoted:

The president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, Fredric Rolando, said that the progress is encouraging, and that the losses are attributable to factors other than the mail.

“Given the positive mail trends, it would be irresponsible to degrade service to Americans and their businesses, which would drive away mail—and revenue—and stop the postal turnaround in its tracks,” Mr. Rolando said.

The Washington Post: Story started out with a lot of the negatives before it improved. Quoted Corbett, Donahoe, Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), along with President Rolando:

The National Association of Letter Carriers president Fredric Rolando focused on the positives Monday, saying cuts in service would “stop the postal turnaround in its tracks.”

“Lawmakers need to preserve and strengthen the profitable postal networks — which are the future of the USPS as it increasingly delivers not just six but seven days a week — while fixing the prefunding fiasco,” Rolando said.

Richmond [VA] Times-Dispatch: Story reported positive news early on; included comments from Rolando, the only person named in the story:

Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, said the Postal Service's loss was largely driven by the health insurance prepayments and by an adjustment to workers' compensation interest rates.

Rolando said an improving economy and much stronger package shipping means the agency is in better financial health than it was in the past.

Government Executive: Story gave lots of attention on the improving revenue picture, on the operating profit and on the reason for the red ink. Quotes only Corbett, Donahoe and Rolando, who got as much space as the other two combined:

“Given the positive mail trends, it would be irresponsible to degrade services to Americans and their businesses, which would drive away mail -- and revenue -- and stop the postal turnaround in its tracks,” said Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers. “Lawmakers need to preserve and strengthen the profitable postal networks -- which are the future of the USPS as it increasingly delivers not just six but seven days a week -- while fixing the prefunding fiasco.”

Associated Press (via PBS): Story quoted only Corbett and, at greater length, Rolando:

Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, agrees that Congress should get rid of the 2006 mandated payment but says it would be “irresponsible to degrade services to Americans and their businesses” just as postal delivery is rebounding with the economy. Because more people are shopping online, “the Internet is now a net positive for USPS, auguring well for the future as e-commerce grows,” Rolando said in a statement.

AP issued a correction to its initial story (click here for an example).

The Hill: Story included many positive developments but also the USPS’ negative spin. Quotes Corbett, Donahoe and Rolando:

"Lawmakers need to preserve and strengthen the profitable postal networks — which are the future of the USPS as it increasingly delivers not just six but seven days a week — while fixing the pre-funding fiasco," Fredric Rolando, the president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, said in a statement.

Reuters (via The Globe and Mail): Story led with USPS’ negative line (and had some mistakes) though it also noted positive postal developments. Quoted only Corbett and Rolando:

Many in the industry point to these improvements as a sign that the agency does not need to make the drastic service cuts it has sought.

"Given the positive mail trends, it would be irresponsible to degrade services to Americans and their businesses, which would drive away mail - and revenue - and stop the postal turnaround in its tracks," Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, said in a statement.

Reuters also issued a correction to its initial story (click here for an example).

Federal Times: Story cited the quarter’s $10 million operating profit (along with the $1 billion year to date, and its longest quote is from Rolando:

“Given the positive mail trends, it would be irresponsible to degrade services to Americans and their businesses, which would drive away mail — and revenue — and stop the postal turnaround in its tracks. Lawmakers need to preserve and strengthen the profitable postal networks — which are the future of the USPS as it increasingly delivers not just six but seven days a week — while fixing the prefunding fiasco,” he said in a statement.