Thursday, January 03, 2008

The News & Record

Landmark Communications, owner of the Greensboro News & Record and several other papers has announced that they have retained a company to explore the sale of their business. One of their blogs invited readers to tell them what changes they would make in the paper, with the note to "be kind". As I doubt that many people actually read those blogs, I have copied my comments here.

If the News & Record is sold, it will be for the same reasons that most privately owned businesses are sold as the founder ages, TAXES. The irony of the N&R being sold because the founding family doesn't want the tax burden of keeping it, is music to the ears of those who have disagreed with your politics over the years.
Here's a simple change that will keep your paper around for years, "Talk to your customers!" For years, you have abused your status as a virtual monopoly in Greensboro. As readership shifted to online sources, you raised advertising rates to make up the difference in revenue. As an example, you destroyed People and Places, the Sunday tabloid section. You created the Guilford Record in several editions to replace it. Now to reach the same readers costs several times as much. The business that I manage used to advertise weekly in People and Places. Now we have found that while we can't do that in the Guilford Record because of the cost, it doesn't matter. Our customers, who used to read People and Places every Sunday, line the kitty litter box with the Guilford Record. Thanks for saving us the extra money! We advertised in People and Places for years, did anyone from the N&R talk to us before you killed it off? Of course not, what would we know?
Before all the Rhino lovers chime in, the Rhino is worth what you pay for it. I was a right wing extremist BEFORE it was fashionable and I rate the Rhino right up there with the Guilford Record.
The Sound of the Beep is a trail of swill that mars an otherwise mediocre high school newspaper.


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