I’m really cranky this morning. I wanted to run outside. But freezing rain greeted me at 6 a.m. So I headed for the treadmill in our bedroom. I’m sure my wife will start talking to me again sometime this afternoon.
But the freezing rain wasn’t the worst part. Four weeks ago I subscribed to the Sunday edition of The New York Times. I read The Times – the actual printed version – every day. And I figured this would save me a few minutes on Sunday mornings since the paper would be delivered along with the Akron Beacon Journal.
Wrong. After four weeks the Beacon Journal delivery guy is two for four. Not bad in baseball. Not great when it comes to getting the paper. I can read both online virtually anytime I want, day or night.
But I love to read the print editions. Is there anything better than sitting in a comfy chair, reading The Times after work, watching Wolf Blitzer and Jack Cafferty on CNN and nursing a double gin and tonic? Hey, at my age it doesn’t get any better than that.
So I called the Beacon Journal and pleaded my case. Wouldn’t it be possible for the delivery guy to take The Times in one hand and the Beacon Journal in the other and head the 10 yards from the street to my porch? It doesn’t even require two trips. Well, the customer service person told me she would make a note of it. But if I were really unhappy about it I would probably have to call The Times and cancel delivery.
Ouch. Maybe the newspaper industry isn’t in as bad shape as I thought. OK. I’ll play along. My reply: How about if I don’t get The Times delivered next Sunday I’ll cancel both.
Goodbye Akron Beacon Journal.
I’ve been a subscriber for more than 30 years. But truthfully, I take the Beacon Journal now mostly out of habit, not because there is much worth reading in it. My uninformed opinion is that some poor management and lack of corporate support over the last few years have crippled the paper’s ability to be much more than an OK local newspaper, if that. I can scan the headlines online – and I can head to Starbucks Sunday morning and get The Times.
But thinking about that, I wonder if newspapers like the Akron Beacon Journal are working toward the day when there are no print editions. If newspapers lose people like me (and I probably won’t be around forever in any event) who is going to read the print editions? Not the generation that is in high school and college today. They haven’t developed the habit. They won’t either.
Oh well. I started in the newspaper business delivering copies of The Pittsburgh Press after school. I placed a printed copy on almost every home in the neighborhood, seven days a week. The Pittsburgh Press is gone now. Too bad. I bet there is a kid somewhere in Pittsburgh who could deliver a copy of that paper and The New York Times at the same time. Of course, that’s if anybody still wanted either.