Thursday, January 8, 2009

Local Newspapers

I live in the greater Puget Sound basin, which is the are surrounding the area of western Washington from Olympia to Bellingham, and centering on the Tacoma, Seattle and Everett area with Bellevue and the east Lake Washington area to the Cascade Mountain foothills and the eastern side of the Olympic Mountains. In short, a very beautiful place, but with lots of people, traffic and problems. Ok, that said, my point?

Well, we have three daily papers, the Tacoma New Tribune, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Seattle Times. Some years ago, the two Seattle papers merged operations for some sections of the paper, namely the Sunday edition and the daily classifieds, and publishing under a Joint Operating Agreement. Both sides have been wrangling for years now to get out of this arrangement started when the Times moved from an afternoon paper to direction competition with the PI because of the traffic in the afternoons.

I like to buy the combined Sunday edition of the Seattle papers and the Tacoma paper. The Tacoma paper is almost a waste anymore as it's always somewhere between 2/3rd and 3/4th ads. Once I take out all the junk fliers and ads, the paper is readable in maybe 15-20 minutes, and barely worth the $1.50 for the Sunday Edition. The combined Seattle Sunday edition is better, readable in 30-60 minutes depending on the times, events and issues, but still it has a lot of fluff in fliers and ads.

I rarely buy their daily editions and it's mostly the Thursday ones for the weekend outdoor guide each includes. Otherwise, the newspapers are a waste, or almost were at 50 cents. But now they a waste at 75 cents, which I discovered this week when I went to the newstand to buy them. I'm sorry folks, at $1.50 for both, you're not worth it, since much of the stories are duplicate news, just different perspectives.

So, it's safe to say they're all three doomed? With on-line versions available free, it sure looks that way. Just another story in the demise of print newspapers. They still have my money for the Sunday editions, which I'm betting will go up to $1.75 or $2.00 each soon, but not for their daily editions anymore.

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