Monday, May 4, 2009

Less than half the newspapers at 90 percent of the price

Some folks are reacting to the announced new delivery rates of the 3-days-per-week Flint Journal over on Andy Heller's blog.

It appears the paper wants to charge more, for less. One commenter mentioned the price has gone from 40 cents a copy to 90 cents a copy with the change.

Also, Andy, who really is the face of the Flint Journal, has announced he is leaving full-time employment for the paper, but will continue to write on a free lance basis.

Don't know where he will be working, but his departure would be a big blow to the newspaper. Probably why they are keeping him on as a freelancer.


former newsie said...

Andy says he's writing his column with the same frequency as he did as a full-time employee. So nothing seems to change for the reader.

I think he's got a PR job somewhere, but for some reason he's not disclosing it.

Anonymous said...

I must admit that Andy's political takes often are are severely wanting, but I find him to be a hilarious columnist whose writings often are very cathartic.

Kevin McKague said...

This is a bit of a non-sequitor, but I think the method on-line music server Rhapsody uses to sell music might just work for allowing newspapers to make some money on-line as well.

Rhapsody charges a flat rate monthly subscription for subscribers to download unlimited music from a very wide selection of artists. The artists and recording labels are given a piece of the pie whenever somebody downloads their music.

What if newspapers formed some sort of agreement with a similar outlet, which could charge a flat rate monthly subscription in order to view articles from their associated on-line news sources. Individual publications would be paid based on the amount of visits, or hits, the paper receives.

Of course, like with music, this system only will work if the free sources, (in the case of on-line newspapers, the papers themselves have been the free source) go away.

I think it could work if enough papers joined the arrangement.

Sherry Hayden said...

Hi Jim,

I've been lurking for a long time, reading your blog. Thanks for being the consummate news man.

I got the Booth letter about our pensions. I have always known my Advance pension would be pitiful, if indeed, it will even exist by the time I can draw on it.

It says Booth is giving the plan up to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC). In 2008, the fund was 81% funded and less in 2007.

The only way a company can terminate a single employer defined pension plan is that it is fully funded or it can show the PBGC that it can pay the money owed to all participants -- or through "distressed termination."

However, the employer must prove to a bankruptcy court or the PBGC that the company can't stay in business unless the pension plan is terminated.

I now will have to wait to get my measly Booth pension until I am 62 or 65; I was going to draw at 55.

I hope I am reading it wrong, but we've never received notice from the PBGC before. I called the PBGC, which indicates oru plan is not yet managed by them. Guess I'll start calling tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Andy has already driven away all the customers he is likely to, now they need him to maintain some level of continuity. I don't think he has anything else, though, from the tone of his column and his limited skill set. I think it's just the reality of his new pay level. And there was never any real reason for him to be at the paper all day, he didn't edit or really do anything else.