Sunday, December 21, 2008

Every Morning, Bright and Early

I sent off a tip to my newspaper carrier,Robert Cranford, today. Instead of just adding a few bucks to the regular billing statement, I sent it in the mail to him directly, with a note.

Back in the day, when I carried papers in Bryant Woods for The Washington Post, the carriers had to do their own collections. I used to visit all of my customers once a month. During the holidays this often meant a few extra bucks. Nowadays the billing is all centralized. If you ever actually see your Washington Post carrier it is because you happen to have run into them in the wee hours of the morning.

And the Post comes every morning of the year, including Christmas Day.

This year I am especially grateful that I can get a daily paper in my driveway every morning. The newspaper business is in trouble and cuts are being made across the board. According to this story in The New York Times, The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News will no longer be delivered to subscribers homes on at least four days of the week. “On other days, they will still print slimmer single-copy editions. The changes will be accompanied by staff cuts,”

Pretty grim stuff.

I am doubly fortunate. I also get The Sun delivered to my driveway every day. Though the slimmed down paper is a mere shadow of former journalistic greatness, it still covers Howard County better than the Post. It does make me wonder though. How long before they start making cuts in home delivery?


Anonymous said...

It's great having papers delivered though the Sun is so skinny at this point it is becoming a weekly disappointment. Even on Sunday, very light.

Yesterday the Sun delivered maybe the lightest I've seen, a one page middle comprising a whole section.

I would think the cost was in the delivery, not the printing or materials, and the staff is not a variable expense.

The Post has cut maybe a little, but nowhere near the Sun. Too bad Deborah Howell is only doing one year as the Ombudsman - her work ended with accolades for the Post from national media.