Neil Sedaka said “Breaking up is hard to do” but I found it quite easy to break up with my newspaper. (Yes, I still read a newspaper… wasn’t the Neil Sedaka reference a huge clue?)
I enjoy cracking open a Sunday newspaper. There’s something very soothing about it. It’s a comfortable routine. (Step one: throw all the sales circulars in the recycling bin. Step two: read the comics.) I stare at a computer screen pretty much all day at my job, so it’s nice to go “old school” on the weekends. It’s tangible, tactile, decidedly not “meta.” Besides, you can “scroll” through a printed paper a lot faster than you can scroll through the articles online (thanks for nothing, slow-loading Metamucil pop-up ads targeted to my life stage).
The Cincinnati Enquirer, like most daily newspapers, has been slowly circling the drain for several years now. They’ve laid off most of their journalists. They shifted the printing to Columbus a few years ago, so any news that happens after noon won’t be in the next day’s edition. But there was still enough meat on the bones to keep me as a subscriber. Until they introduced their “special editions.” It’s an extra section in the Sunday paper for “special occasions” – recent ones have covered MLK Day and the Bengals Super Bowl appearance.
Each “special edition” means I’m charged about 50% more for that month’s subscription. And they’ve been trotting out “special editions” at a record pace… I wouldn’t be surprised if they put one out for Administrative Assistants Day.
There’s no way to opt out of these special editions. So they’re really no more than a flimsy excuse to try to extract a bit more cash out of their ever-dwindling subscriber base.
So I finally decided to send the Cincinnati Enquirer a special edition of my own – it’s called a “subscription cancellation.” Unlike their special editions, this one’s free!
[I’m keeping my print subscriptions to Cincinnati Magazine (best deal in town) and The Atlantic… for the tangible, tactile reasons mentioned above. And of course I’ll still be receiving AARP Magazine based on my life stage.. no pop-up ads in that one.]