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Valassis and Daily Herald Expand Alliance to Include Chicago Tribune

Press release from the issuing company

LIVONIA, Mich., Aug. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Valassis (NYSE: VCI - News), one of the nation's leading media and marketing services companies, and the Daily Herald, suburban Chicago's largest daily newspaper, today announced a new partnership with the Chicago Tribune, a leading media company in the Chicago area. Valassis first entered into an alliance in the Chicago area in 2005 with the Daily Herald. This expanded alliance will provide advertisers with a new alternative for reaching their audiences in the Chicago market.

Through the alliance, Valassis will combine advertising inserts from its RedPlum(TM) Direct Mail Package with the Chicago Tribune's midweek ShopLocal mail program, creating a single, shared offering that will reach 3 million households weekly in the Chicago market. Through the new program that will begin in October 2008, Chicago Tribune will continue to deliver preprinted insert advertising in its Wednesday newspaper edition, and Valassis will continue to deliver to these Chicago Tribune subscriber households in the RedPlum Direct Mail Package.

With this partnership, consumers benefit from advertising that is delivered by trusted, reliable sources -- Chicago Tribune/ShopLocal, Valassis' RedPlum product and the Daily Herald. In the households where two mail packages are currently delivered, consumers will now experience the added convenience of more value-related content in one package. This package will be co-branded RedPlum-ShopLocal. Similarly, the Daily Herald-RedPlum-ShopLocal package will continue to be delivered with the Wednesday edition of the Daily Herald and mailed to non-subscribers in the Daily Herald market area.

"Combining inserts that go to non-subscribing households will streamline efficiency while providing richer content and greater consumer appeal," said Jack Whisler, Chicago Tribune Vice President, Advertising. "At the same time, both companies will retain their own proprietary targeting options and compete as before in the marketplace."

"Our alliance with Valassis has allowed us to provide our advertising customers a broader reach of the Chicago suburbs and that continues to be important to our success," said Scott Stone, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Daily Herald. "The addition of the Chicago Tribune to our alliance will heighten the awareness of the RedPlum package, ensuring it will get even wider market recognition among consumers as the trusted source for essential advertising messages."

"We are committed to delivering value to consumers, and as a result of this alliance, we will extend our reach and provide them with the savings opportunities they seek in an efficient way," said William Blackmer, Valassis Senior Vice President, Strategic Sourcing. "Our advertisers also benefit from this joint distribution plan that maximizes response through both the power of newspaper and the mail. We are very pleased to continue building our relationship with the Chicago Tribune in this important market."

The new combined midweek mail program will be produced at Tribune Direct Marketing, a Chicago Tribune Media Group subsidiary located in Northlake, Ill. The advertising wrap that carries the adverting inserts will be produced and printed by Valassis.