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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 24, 2012 10:44 AM. The previous post in this blog was "Urban Planning Overlord" is Gordon Howard. The next post in this blog is We're lucky -- but Carollo is luckier. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Friday, February 24, 2012

To our readers

A Portlander writes:

The Oregonian delivered a price increase -- starting next month it's going up to $26 per month for direct pay -- not quite a 20% increase from the current rate.

This reminds us that it's time to raise our subscription rates as well. And so effective March 1, the price you pay us to view this blog is increasing by 19.7%. We apologize, but our costs just keep escalating.

Comments (34)

And well worth every penny of it, by gum.

When can we expect a paper edition of this blog?

I can afford your price hike because my salary doubled also, from the same base.

They are well past the inflection point where customer losses more than out weigh unit price increases. TriMet is in that same situation. They would increase revenues by lowering the price.

It's like print newspaper hara-kiri without the honor or the tanto.

I cancelled my subscription to the O at the end of last June. Now $26? There's practically nothing left to the paper - it's pathetically thin most days.

Maybe they should do what the paper in Detroit did: stop putting out a paper edition on Mon. & Tues. - only online.

I'm pretty sure the extra dough will not be going to experienced reporter's salaries.

Maybe those plastic, one use bags are getting more expensive now that the manufacturers no longer can sell those plastic bags to Portland grocery stores.

Anyone besides ME recall the Oregonian demanding grocery stores be banned from using those same bags the "O" uses every day?

In Business School, they refer to that cycle of: drop in sales, increased fixed costs, failed efforts to raise retail prices that result in a drop in sales...as the "DEATH SPIRAL" of a mature and dying business.

Maybe they should sell the Oregonian by the pound. No, that wouldn't work since Monday's edition is only about four pages as it is. do you think renaming it, "The Portland Shopper" would work?

Besides, did you ever notice if you ever want to know the entire story cut and pasted in the "O", you need to read the comment section? (WHICH IS NOT IN THE PRINTED VERSION).

This is the sad phase that every outmoded business goes through. You saw/see the same thing with pay phones: fewer people using them because of newer technology, so they raise prices, which causes more people to abandon them for newer technology, etc. Newspaper revenue is mostly based on ads, not subscriptions. How they think they'll sell more ad space by pointing to lower subscription numbers, I have no idea.

I put the O on vacation hold and they failed to stop delivering the paper for over 2 weeks. I then completely cancelled the subscription and they have continued to deliver it everyday, now over another 2 weeks. The O is a very incompetent organization.

If it weren't for the cross word puzzles and Sudoku, I'd cancel. They've cut out my favorite comic strips and for the most part, they don't print much that isn't a PR release.

Richard, that's not incompetent. That's deliberate. I can't tell you the number of print magazines that keep sending me copies even though I let my subscription lapse years ago. The idea is that being able to tell advertisers that the publication's total circulation brings in more money than in an actual paid subscription. (My local paper, the Dallas Morning News, keeps getting into trouble over being overly enthusiastic about this. It's been busted for insisting that copies be delivered to vacant lots and empty fields, dumping armfuls of Sunday papers at laundromats, and other stunts frowned upon by its circulation auditors.)

F the O!

Believe it or not, the only thing I really miss about the print edition is the Sunday ad inserts, where I could look for sales and coupons.

Why can't some of our water bill payment subsidize free paper delivery at every Trimet stop. No boarding required to be fair. Paperboys would ride Trimet, and jump off and back on and deliver the paper to waiting customers. Win Win Win. More boarding statistics, reduced delivery cost for Trimet promotions, Transit Tracker could become necessary and maybe useful, and neighbors will bond while waiting for the O. The future is boundless: think USPS, DMV, healthcare, free lunch,Tricounty charrettes,.......

I just must jump back in since I've had a Bojack/Urbanplanner kind of running battle with the "O" for years.

The above example of the death of coin pay phones is a PERFECT analogy.

It's so easy to imagine the unseen hand of Accountants at the "O" with their spreadsheets giving advice at meetings with the board.

Their first impulse is to fire or encourage the departure of experienced reporters and columnists. MUCH cheaper to employ the tech savy recent grads with huge student loans to cut and paste press releases. As a result, we rarely get the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, HOW and WHY of newsworthy stories. I'm convinced, today's reporter never leaves their desk. A criminal suspect could be in jail just a few blocks away with a great story, but unless the story can be cut and pasted, readers will never see it in the "O".

NEXT, the accountants then look for incentives to encourage NEW customers...using the cannibalistic model of cell phone subscribers. This means treating NEW customers better than your EXISTING and more profitable customers. If a longtime full price subscriber drops an Oregonian subscription they'll soon be offered a "NEW, HALF Price" trial. When the price increases, they'll drop it. THEN they'll be eligible for another DISCOUNTED rate.

In short, if the Oregonian wants to survive, ....oh heck....who cares?

And so effective March 1, the price you pay us to view this blog is increasing by 19.7%.

A better business model might be to let readers view your blog for free, and charge only to post - perhaps by word count.

I can think of a few commenters who would probably support this blog single-handedly.

You know who you are.

Dhughes actually has the right idea - TriMet and The Oregonian should partner together. It can even be sold together - get two great services (transit ride plus your morning newspaper) at one "low" price. TriMet gets a little slice of the revenue from The Oregonian having its newsboys or newsstands on the property; The O gets to pass out more newspapers - more readers, more ad revenue.

When TriMet needs to print new schedules, it'd just count on The Oregonian to include it with the newspaper.

Airlines see the in-flight magazines as revenue. They have to justify their existence - even accounting for the weight of the magazines on the aircraft and the fuel necessary to carry the magazine. And yet they make the airlines money (or else the airlines would stop the magazines). TriMet and The O could have a gold mine here.

You know who you are.

I like it!

hehehehe...

Wow! How about a nickel a comment?

Wow! How about a nickel a comment?

We need brackets; those whose word counts exceed those of the 99% must PAY MORE!

Progressive Blogging Justice!

Occupy Bog's Blog!

Shouldn't it be 2 cents a comment?

What's a nickel?

I bet 49% won't pay anything.

You nailed it Mr. T.

Plus, a recursive recycling benefit is that if the O commits Seppuku it can use itself as its own tatami mat! (A joke about bleeding soy ink would be in bad taste, no?)

That reduce/reuse/recycle logo does look a bit like Ouroboros.

(Hmmm... afterward would it have to be placed in the Garbage, Recycling, or Compost bin?)

The O's downward spiral reminds me of TriMet. Less product = fewer customers = less profit, and so on. Not a winning business plan.

This actually might be (MIGHT be) a smart business move. Price increases generally lead to a set amount of loss of circulation volume, regardless of whether the increase is 5, 10 or even 20 percent. I don't work at The Oregonian, but have a number of years in the business. It MIGHT be The Oregonian's management is looking to get the most bang out of the price increase. It's doubtful there would be a large enough loss in circulation (let's face it - the marginal subscribers are long gone) to offset the "revenue enhancement" (a wonderful phrase borrowed from Howard Baker) from the price increase. Most ad revenue is not on a "per thousand circulation" basis anyway, so there would not be a decline in ad revenue relative to the decline in subscription revenue unless the circulation decline was large enough to lead advertisers elsewhere (again, not likely). So, this MIGHT be a wise move. Then again, it might be a knee jerk reaction to a bad set of quarterly numbers... who knows?

At the end of 2009, I was paying $13.95/month for my full-time Oregonian subscription. So we've got an 86% price increase in just over two years.

That's peanuts. The daily NYT is now $2.50.

You get a lot more for your money with the NY Times, although it's not perfect either. The failing Oregonian puts me in mind of my preferred daily, The Oregon Journal which was driven out of business by the big O, but which went with dignity.

Now, THERE was a good paper.

They have to pay for that failed computer upgrade somehow.

"At the end of 2009, I was paying $13.95/month for my full-time Oregonian subscription. So we've got an 86% price increase in just over two years."

Randy Leonard is advising them on pricing...

This is not about the Oregonian. Except for the Wall Street Journal, this is happening to almost all newspapers across the country. Subscriptions and ad revenues down; subscription prices up. A little bit sad because the O has actually gotten better in the last few years with its coverage of state political and economic issues (Harry Esteves at the head of a few).

The O even got it right this morning, questioning why PBOT is playing with road maintenance when there's no financial shortfall...because all the money is going elsewhere. I might just buy a Sunday Paper to support more good journalism rather than the typical rehashed press releases (especially when it comes to most stories about TriMet).

I found the loophole: if you tell the Oregonian that you DON'T want their paper, they'll keep dropping it on your driveway!

It might not be every day, but it's often enough, I promise.


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Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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