The Daily Independent, our local "daily" newspaper had been going through changes lately. Several months ago they decided that we no longer needed color Sunday comics. So they replaced them with black and white versions that were added to the weekly television listings section of the paper. Since this section of the paper is a different size than the rest of the paper, in order to make the Sunday comics fit they had to be shortened. So all the characters in the comics were distorted. Additionally they dropped several of the comics that they usually carried. I hated this decision. I have enjoyed reading the Sunday color comics since I was old enough to read. Also my father taught me that the best gift wrapping paper in the world is the color Sunday funnies. Now I have to use just plain old wrapping paper.
The next big change happened this week. The paper changed their delivery schedule from Tuesday through Friday evenings and Sunday mornings to Monday through Saturday mornings. I like the idea of getting a "daily" paper six days a week instead of only five. But I don't like not getting a Sunday paper and getting a morning paper is a total waste of time. The paper claims that this change will provide better customer service because the news will be more timely. Their example was instead of having to wait until Sunday morning to find out who won the Friday night high school football game we can find out on Saturday morning. My response is that they could have solved that problem years ago just by offering a Saturday paper. However I suspect that changing to paper from evening to morning delivery will not get the news to most people any earlier. I think many folks will be in the same boat we are. Our news has just been delayed an additional 9 hours not sped up at all. Since I don't have the time to read the paper before going to work in the morning, the paper either lays on the kitchen cupboard or on the driveway all day until we get home in the evening. Then we get to read about everything that happened the day before. At least with the evening paper we could sometimes read about things that had happened that morning. Now all our news is at least 24 hours old.
The worst part of this is the change to our Sunday routine. My dear wife and I loved to drop the kids off at Sunday school after church, get ourselves a donut for breakfast and go home, curl up in our chairs, and read the paper while enjoying a quiet breakfast together. Now without a Sunday paper, we find ourselves watching the news on TV instead.
This has been some pretty drastic changes to a newspaper that only really needed to hire a some reporters to collect more local news and start publishing a "daily" paper everyday.
I had already paid for my annual subscription before all these changes had been made. But I have to ask the staff at the Independent one question. You have been making a lot of changes lately and I don't like any of them. Now what are you going to do to convince me to continue my subscription when it comes due later this year?