Current to add Geist to growing newspaper stable

Early next year, residents living on Geist Reservoir in northern Marion and Hamilton counties will find a new newspaper in their mailboxes every Tuesday.

Current Publishing LLC, a Carmel-based firm which publishes five weekly newspapers in the northern part of the Indianapolis metro area, is planning to launch its sixth weekly newspaper as early as January.

The Current at Geist will have a circulation of 11,306 and bring total circulation of Current newspapers—which include Current in Carmel, Current in Fishers, Current in Noblesville, Current in Westfield and Current in Zionsville—to 119,439.

Residents who live on Geist but have a Fishers address will continue to get the Current in Fishers and not the new publication. But Current officials said Geist residents who don’t get the new newspaper can read it online.

The Current publications are free and mailed directly to every home in the targeted circulation area.

The most recent expansion was prompted by advertisers who wanted to penetrate the Geist market, said Brian Kelly, Current co-founder and president.

“Urging from advertisers is what has caused us to grow from day one,” Kelly said, adding that several of the key advertising spots for the Geist publication are already sold for multiple weeks. “We’re growing with our customers.”

Kelly declined to divulge which advertisers he has lined up for the new publication but said they are in the health care, banking, high-end retail, entertainment, and remodeling and interior decorating sectors.

The Current at Geist has been on the drawing board for 14 months, Kelly said, and the urging from advertisers has only grown stronger during that period.

Since launching Current Publishing in October 2006, Kelly and co-founder Steve Greenberg have followed a formula of placing free weekly newspapers into highly educated, upscale areas with a thriving retail and business sector. Each paper has an editor and sales director and relies on an army of freelance writers to produce many of its local stories.

The company became profitable in March 2007 and has grown profits each year since, Kelly said.

“Each one of our publications since the first one has been profitable upon launch, and that’s what we expect of our newest one,” he said.

The success Current publications are having in central Indiana is prompting Kelly and Greenberg to consider expansion outside the immediate area.

“This model is easily replicated in like communities,” Greenberg said. “In addition to several locations in Indiana, we’re now considering four out-of-state markets for expansion.”

Current’s expansion comes at a time when many newspapers nationwide are downsizing as they struggle with the emergence of the Internet, social media and mobile phone apps as avenues for people to find news.

“We’re an anomaly in a couple of ways,” Kelly said. “Not only are we growing in a struggling industry, we’ve experienced much of our growth at a time when the economy was not doing well. We think our targeted audience and local content is what has set us apart.”

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