DistribuTech, the company that manages the free publication racks for Kroger, has temporarily pulled Out & About Newspaper from Kroger and Harris Teeter stores pending “further evaluation by management.”

Rob Taylor, general manager for DistribuTech in Nashville, notified O&AN Publisher Jerry Jones on Thursday (May 31) of the decision. 

“Mr. Taylor told me that he was told to collect the current issue, which is our PrideFest 2007 issue, and that they won’t be distributing for us on Friday, June 1,” explained Jones. “He told me that this wasn’t his decision and that his manager’s manager told him that the company wanted to reevaluate the decision to allow us to distribute in Kroger and Harris Teeter stores at a higher level.” 

More than 3,500 copies of the 2007 O&AN PrideFest Guide issue have been picked up by Kroger and Harris Teeter customers since being placed in the racks on May 9. 

Jones said he wasn’t sure what to tell O&AN readers and that the newspaper would keep them updated on decisions made by DistribuTech. 

“I don’t know how long this reevaluation will take or what their decision will be and we ask our readers to be patient. We just want to alert readers that this evaluation is happening because we’ve heavily promoted that they can find our publication in Kroger and Harris Teeter,” Jones said. “We have to think that Kroger, Harris Teeter and DistribuTech can see that we produce a well-written and quality publication. Of course we want them to take the evaluation time to see how we compare to other publications they currently offer.” 

In Atlanta, Kroger regularly advertises on the back page of the weekly GLBT newspaper, the Southern Voice, and allows Southern Voice to be distributed at its Atlanta-area stores. 

DistribuTech, a division of Consumer Source, Inc., claims on its Website that it “is the leading manager of free publication community rack programs in 72 markets nationwide. It’s list of Nashville distribution sites include Bi-Lo, Blockbuster, Eckerd’s, Exxon, Harris Teeter, K-Mart and Kroger. DistribuTech Corporate is based in Norcross, Georgia.  

Jones said O&AN signed a contract in late April with DistribuTech to distribute in 34 Kroger stores and three Harris Teeter stores in Middle Tennessee.  

Brent Meredith, managing editor and creative director for O&AN, said he hoped the reevaluation by corporate leaders at DistribuTech and Kroger would show that the monthly GLBT newspaper is a quality publication. 

“We hold ourselves to a very high standard,” Meredith said. “We produce a quality, well-written publication that anyone would find informative and newsworthy.”

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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