I've been stewing for months about The Plain Dealer's plans to curtail home delivery to three times per week. It is now official. There it was on page one, a Dear John letter or as The Plain Dealer marketing gurus prefer, a Dear Readers letter. Yep, starting August 5th, The Plain Dealer will implement changes. As they put it, "these changes will enable us to to meet the evolving needs of our print and digital audiences while continuing to provide Northeast Ohio with the most comprehensive and up-to-date news and information 24/7". There you have it, we asked for it and now The Plain Dealer will go through hoops to give us what we want. The Dear Readers letter is brilliant. Essentially we will be screwed without a kiss but we will enjoy every minute of it.
This morning, after going through the Sunday edition of The Plain Dealer, I suddenly realized what all that gobbledygook in the letter was about. I got through the paper in less than 30 minutes and didn't feel much more informed than when I started. Getting along with the local rag 3 days a week will not be so traumatic. My needs have indeed evolved and The Plain Dealer is only a minuscule part of them. So, will I cancel my subscription? Hell no! The High Primal has veto power over subscription decisions - enough said.
I didn't mention that the letter had no information about what changes there will be in the cost of a subscription. Apparently we loyal subscribers will receive a personal letter which will break the news gently. I'm betting that in order to receive The Plain Dealer's version of "comprehensive news and information 24/7', I'll have to shell out a few more bucks. That's what getting screwed is all about.
(This being Memorial Day weekend, I can't help but wonder how long it will be before we commemorate the death of printed news.)