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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

OT: Bad Omaha Newspaper Move
Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 6:28 PM on 10.30.13
->> Now this is stupid.

The Omaha World-Herald (I'm a subscriber because I support local newspapers) wants to charge me an extra $2.75 for the Thanksgiving Day edition (for the most part) because it has a lot more ad supplements.

(
http://www.wowt.com/news/headlines/Omaha-World-Herald-Adds-Charge-For-Thank...)

They really should be happy that they've sold so many ads and not even think about screwing their subscribers.

I told the nice lady at circulation that I didn't want the paper that day and that I wasn't going to pay the extra $2.75.
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Keith Simonian, Photographer
Martinez | CA | USA | Posted: 6:46 PM on 10.30.13
->> WOW.

They have so many ads, it will cost extra to deliver the paper, and they want the customers to pay for the ads???

I would guess when the paper figures out this was the stupidest idea anybody ever had, they will eat the extra cost of providing all those "informational" ads that provide them extra revenue.

Not to sound flippant, but deadly serious, but I would worry about my job at the Omaha World-Herald if this is the best the management can do in the face of shrinking ad revenue and readership.
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Bradly J. Boner, Photographer, Photo Editor
Jackson | WY | USA | Posted: 8:10 PM on 10.30.13
->> The charge is BS but it's also kind of classless for the WOWT 6 News to do a story. If their competitors want to shoot themselves in the foot then WOWT should just let them. Making a news segment out of what is essentially just a bad business move is kind of lame. They might as well end their segment with, "Our views should rest assured that we won't charge you extra for our Turkey Day broadcast, so drop your World Herald subscription and keep watching us for free!"
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 10:51 PM on 10.30.13
->> The charge is BS. Reporting on it just news. I saw the link to the WOWT piece on jimromenesko.com. I was watching KETV that evening.
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Douglas Cottle, Photographer
Tuscola | Illinois | United States | Posted: 7:12 AM on 10.31.13
->> From Wikipedia: "On November 30, 2011, the Omaha World-Herald announced that Berkshire Hathaway will buy the newspaper pending a vote by its shareholders which is made up of active employees, retired employees and the Peter Kiewit Foundation"

Berkshire Hathaway is not in the business of losing money. Not saying the increase is right. Just could be part of the answer.
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Bradly J. Boner, Photographer, Photo Editor
Jackson | WY | USA | Posted: 2:49 PM on 10.31.13
->> Reporting on it is just news? Give me a break.

We're talking about a one-time charge of $2.75. While it's certainly BS and bad business, it's not as if the World Herald is doubling the price of subscriptions.

A popular burrito joint in my town raised the price of their breakfast burritos by a buck. The local brew pub changed their "Six Dollar Lunch" to the "Seven Dollar Lunch." Their customers (myself included) were pretty pissed, but I'd hardly consider it "news." Are you honestly going to tell me that it's "news" whenever any given business in town pisses off a large portion of their customer base?
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 3:40 PM on 10.31.13
->> This is not a subscription increase.

Your comparison to your local burrito joint's price increase is spurious to say the least. It's not as if they're raising the price of my daily newspaper by 25 cents, or $1.00. They are trying to charge subscribers an extra $2.75 for a single issue whose major "plus" is that it has lots of advertising.

I don't think it fair to be asked to pay for a bunch of ads that, a) I probably don't need and will not want and b) will make the OWH a boatload of extra money. If you think it's fair then we disagree.
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Wesley R. Bush, Photographer
Murfreesboro | TN | U.S. | Posted: 4:15 PM on 10.31.13
->> There is typically more demand for the ads in that issue than the paper itself because of Black Friday. While you don't want them, most people who don't normally subscribe or buy newspapers will that day for Black Friday sales. Local newspapers would do themselves justice to publish ways for people to navigate that day the most efficiently. Perhaps compile a list of stores with their opening and closing times? Work with advertising and reference ads contained in that edition? Alternate traffic routes to beat the bunch? Just throwing out ideas. I expect all of these to be in my local paper on Thanksgiving.
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Bradly J. Boner, Photographer, Photo Editor
Jackson | WY | USA | Posted: 7:19 PM on 10.31.13
->> No, Jim, we don't disagree. I think that's pretty clear. If you think it isn't clear, then we disagree.
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Al Goldis, Photographer
East Lansing | MI | USA | Posted: 7:38 PM on 10.31.13
->> I was going to comment on this yesterday but due to the utter stupidity, absurdity, ridiculousness and boneheadedness of this move, I just couldn't articulate my thoughts.

I'm not sure I can now, either. All I can say is if you think it is ok to charge for ads (I mean charge the consumer not the advertiser) then you don't understand how newspapers and/or advertising have worked for the last century or two. Apparently, the management of the World-Herald does not understand either.
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 1:24 AM on 11.01.13
->> Jim,

Let us know if you get the paper anyway. I'll bet you do.

--Mark
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Nigel Farrow, Photographer
Suffolk | UK | United Kingdom | Posted: 6:15 AM on 11.01.13
->> Wonder how this issue was sold to advertisers. If it was on the basis of we get X readers for that issue, and then the additional cost deters people from buying it so the numbers fall short, will the advertisers have grounds for complaint.
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Alan Look, Photographer
Bloomington - Normal | IL | United States | Posted: 8:36 AM on 11.01.13
->> It makes some sense to me, but I didn't sleep at the Express last night and I've never been accused of being a business man.

I've been a member here since 2002. I can't tabulate the number of threads where I've read that we should profit/cost every thing we do - shoot, edit, ship, search our archive... pretty much everything except answer the phone. So, a newspaper does that and we get bent? (sorry Jim - not meant personally)

I guess they could just increase the daily subscription rate by a penny a day and be a buck more ahead at the end of the year.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Atlanta | Ga | USA | Posted: 8:47 AM on 11.01.13
->> It's called greed, folks. The paper is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, headquartered in Omaha which is where CEO Warren Buffet also resides. BH stock closed at nearly $173,000 a share on Thursday. So dinging every subscriber in Omaha an additional $2.75 for the Black Friday edition that the advertisers pay for - and cover the cost of the edition - is just greedy. Period.
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 8:56 AM on 11.01.13
->> Actually Alan that is exactly what they should do. If they wanted to charge extra for newsstand sales then people can make the choice at the point of sale. Changing the terms of one's subscription after the fact and trying to put lipstick on the pig with their puffery is something else. If they felt they needed to squeeze that extra coin out of subscribers to include the ad insert (which is paid for by the advertisers to begin with) then doing what you suggested is IMHO the best way to do. Bury it to where the per day is imperceptible.
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Jacob Langston, Photographer
Orlando | FL | | Posted: 9:26 AM on 11.01.13
->> Folks, newspapers are hurting. We all post thread after thread of the sad news of layoffs, almost daily.

Why are we attacking a newspaper for trying to raise some revenue? It's a business. We used to consider newspapers this magical wonderland that kept on ticking. It "ticked" because of classifieds, great ad revenue, high subscription rates, etc. Times have changed. We can't bash companies for layoffs one day and then slam them the next for trying to stay alive.

Pay the $2.75 if you think it's worth it. If not, don't.
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Keith Nordstrom, Photographer, Photo Editor
Attleboro | MA | USA | Posted: 9:29 AM on 11.01.13
->> Our subscribers get the bigger paper as part of their subscription package but they jack up the price for single copy sales at the stores.
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 9:58 AM on 11.01.13
->> Jacob
Subscribers weren't given the choice according to the article. It was a surcharge on the subscription. That is why they are rightly being criticized. People pay for that which they value. When they are presented with additional charges for that which they don't value they complain.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Atlanta | Ga | USA | Posted: 10:00 AM on 11.01.13
->> Jacob, I think it goes much deeper than that. People want to be treated with a sense of fair play, not gouged at every turn. A fee for this, a fee for that. It's just not the Omaha World. Businesses, the electric company, etc., raise rates, fees and prices so they can maintain a level of profitability, yet the average consumer hasn't the ability to get a 10 cent an hour pay raise. People are just fed up with this kind of behavior. The belt tightening can only go so far. Even $2.75 can raise the ire of people and force them to push back.

Are newspapers in a bad way? Yes, many are. However, they must deliver on the promise of fair, consistent pricing in advertising, subscription rates and news coverage to maintain the trust that is desperately needed and been lost over these past few years. Stop the gimmicks. Maintain a little dignity for a change. If they wanted to add a fee to the BF edition, it should have been planned well in advance, with notification of amended subscription terms so everybody would be aware of what's going on.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 11:28 PM on 11.01.13
->> I've reread this thread several times and every time I read it, I wonder: What is it I don't know about this?


Clearly, the paper is probably the biggest of the year and will be greeted with great anticipation by the public.

(A lot of the posters on the Channel 6 website don't subscribe but yet feel qualified to pass judgement. Frankly, they're of little use to the discussion. Add in the fact that if you use local broadcast news from TV as a primary source, you're probably not going to get a invite to join MENSA).

As someone who is a marketer, I have to say this looks lazy and poorly thought out. I'm guessing that if I talked to someone at the OWH, I might get some insight. My guess is they will sell a lot of newspapers regardless when the consumer looks at the volume of Black Friday inserts....

If you understand how Black Friday works, charging more for the newspaper isn't a bad idea.. it's a good one. The execution is the question mark...

M
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 1:45 PM on 11.02.13
->> The OWH supposedly sent out a letter to subscribers telling them of the plan to charge an extra $2.75. It's strange that none of the five neighbors that I asked, all subscribers, got the letter. Once I'd told them they were PO'd too.

I wouldn't mind so much if the paper had actually contacted their subscribers, told them about their plans, and offered an opt out. They didn't.
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PJ Heller, Photographer
Santa Barbara | CA | USA | Posted: 12:30 PM on 11.07.13
->> Omaha isn’t alone . . . Richmond Times-Dispatch is also going to charge more for Thanksgiving and Christmas papers.

Story here:
http://tinyurl.com/mvmtu2s
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 8:02 PM on 11.07.13
->> "We hope you can appreciate the value of our holiday editions and the necessity for the premium charge to partially cover our added expenses"

They are advertisements. They have already been paid for by the advertisers. It's not the practice I object to as much as it is the deceit.

You are double dipping - at least be honest about it.
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Dave Prelosky, Photographer
Lower Burrell | Pa | US | Posted: 10:06 PM on 11.07.13
->> As with all things newspaper, let's hope the carriers see some part of the surcharge at these papers. They're usually the last folks anyone considers.
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Thread Title: OT: Bad Omaha Newspaper Move
Thread Started By: Jim Colburn
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