Monday, January 11, 2010

Oh, Bother.

Why is it some days we just can't get a break?

Case in point.  In the good old days, when you subscribed to a newspaper or magazine, they cut you a break because that was good business and it provided said company with steady cash flow.  Evidently, not anymore. Our subscription to the Columbus Dispatch, the only daily newspaper in town, went from $166 a year in 2009 to - and get this - $337 a year in 2010

And why the astounding increase?  Well, it turns out that we need to pay for the service of having the paper delivered to our home, something that was a valued added has become a bother and an expense to their carriers.  And out of the largese of their hearts, the DPC is cutting its subscribers the average bargain of .08 per day on the news stand cost.

The irony of this is that we received this nugget of "good news" the same day that Mike Harden (a former Dispatch columnist who is now a contract writer in "retirement" awarded the City of Columbus the Golden Whore Award for trying to bilk the citizens of our fair city for enough money to float a bond that would provide important seed capital so Hilton Hotel can build another hotel in Columbus.

Doesn't jacking the price of the newspaper of daily record up so high to a point where your average man on the street can't afford it translate into some type of money grubbing whoring as well?

I understand that traditional media is a dying prospect, and that newspapers are simply giving it away on-line, but why in heavens name would a business do something like this to alienate your faithful readership? 

Well, the story we got was that the paper has gone to an "aggressive" price strategy after looking at its readership and demographics - TRANSLATION: we paid some consultants and exorbitant amount of money to tell us that we need to pick a price point so freaking high that we can afford to loose the cost of home delivery in certain "poor" parts of town where they can't afford to deliver the paper, while keeping it going in other parts that are more affluent.

Remember when "aggressive pricing" meant that they were going to cut you a deal?  That was then, this is now and welcome to the new economy.

We don't read the morning newspaper because it contains news; morning newspapers have always told you a day late what was going on in the world.  We read it because in the morning, you need to do something while the coffee perks, or cereal gets soggy.  If we don't have a paper to read then we'll no excuse for not having pleasant banter in the morning.  We would actually have to talk to one and other.  GOD!, not that! So getting the paper, is for now, a neccesity.

Now I'll have to call them up, explain that there is no way in Hell I'll pay that much on a monthly basis for the newspaper and start the old "retention department" thing.

Oh, bother indeed.

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