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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 1, 2012 9:43 AM. The previous post in this blog was State calls West Hayden Island pave-over what it is: a joke. The next post in this blog is Surprise! Alta gets the Portland bike share contract.. 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

Monday, October 1, 2012

Publisher of the O responds! (At least somewhat.)

We blogged last week with our usual mixed feelings about the sorry state of Portland's daily (for now) newspaper. One of the things we pointed out was that a friend of ours who still gets the paper delivered recently got a renewal notice that gave him the option to re-subscribe for only a limited time. He thought, and so did we, that this might mean that the O's long-rumored shift to three-days-a-week publication might be imminent.

Later that day, we got an e-mail message from the very top of the heap at the O, refuting at least part of that speculation:

Dear Mr. Bogdanski:

Someone pointed out a post on your blog referring to a renewal notice received by an Oregonian subscriber. You inferred that meant we aren't accepting subscription payments past his expiration date. I suspect your friend is on a reduced rate, in which case we bill subscribers for six months or less at a time. All other subscribers are given the opportunity to pay in advance for up to a year.

Regards,
Chris Anderson

N. Christian Anderson III
President & Publisher
1320 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201

Nothing specific in there about number of days a week of publication, but it seems to be telling us not to read anything into the limited renewal option.

It's funny that Anderson didn't say anything about the lead item in that same post of ours: The thought that he had wanted to endorse Romney, but his bosses in the Newhouse organization wouldn't let him. Should we take his silence as an affirmance that we were right about that?

Comments (11)

The Advance papers in New Orleans and Alabama started their 3-day-a-week publication schedule today.

In Harrisburg, Pa. and Syracuse, N.Y., Advance is doing its firings today in prep for those cities' 3-day-a-week transition.

In New Orleans and Alabama, they were still offering long-term subscriptions up until the end -- working out the refund details later.

Hell, the New Orleans paper reversed course last week and said they'd be now putting out a Saturday paper, which they're calling "the early Sunday edition," but it won't be delivered to subscribers, only sold on the newsstand.

All this is to say Advance has managed this transition so poorly that I wouldn't read anything into length of subscriptions.

Classy of him to respond. I once dashed off a handwritten note to Robert Pamplin Jr, and slipped it under his office door.
My approach is that these things are long shots so I might as well have fun with them. A lot of my applications in those days started with, "Dear Jungle Out There," but for this one I went with, "Dear Bob."

He wrote back, in a very professionally done letter and said he'd forward it to the appropriate people at the paper he was putting together called "The Portland Tribune."

Since that day, I am always impressed when the guy or woman at the top takes the time to respond. I think it shows class. It also led to me getting a sweet gig as a columnist that lasted for over 150 columns and was easily the best paying gig in my freelance career.

I should add: Nobody I know is happy about the decline of newspapers. I think it's a heartbreaker.

"Anderson didn't say anything about the lead item in that same post..."

He didn't deny that he beats his wife, either. So what? My guess is he knew not to invite a "Publisher takes pains to deny rift with ownership" follow-up.

Bill's right, it was a class move. Even if he does publish a rag.

That leads right into:

Dear Chris,
Please hire me to write a column for your paper. I'm probably the only one in Portland who writes for an international radio network, plus topical humor that's regularly broadcast in 75 countries. One of my jokes was featured in a Drudge link recently, and that's huge.

If you're struggling, why not try something new? --Bill McDonald

P.S. My lines used to appear in the Oregonian all the time - some even on the editorial page. That ended around when your downturn began. Coincidence?

How often did Fred Stickel reply to any of your comments? This may be more of a breakthrough for the blog then for The O.

As for endorsing Romney, things have probably changed from the days when local Newhouse editors made those decisions, sometime taking opposite sides from each other. If it was a top down decision, it probably saved The O from new embarrassment.

I agree with niceoldguy. The fact is EVERYBODY reads your blog, Jack. The media, the politicans, their staffers. You have done a great job.

One of the things that really gall me about the Oregonian is that guy Joseph Rose. He is so ill informed and swallows the city’s line hook and sinker. His commuter blog is a joke. It is so slanted towards the bicycle lobby sprinkled with token articles about automobiles which consist of 95% of the commuting traffic in the region. I cannot understand why the Oregonian panders to the hipster bicyclist community as they are the least likely to read or subscribe to the paper. They have totally pissed off people like me that really are their demographic readership.

Can we assume. that with the expiration of your friends reduced subscription period the quality of the product will improve?

How often did Fred Stickel reply to any of your comments? This may be more of a breakthrough for the blog then for The O.

Actually, I did hear from Fred Stickel one time, when I questioned on this blog the placement of his news boxes around town -- particularly ones in my neighborhood.

I like it Bill. You got my vote...um, where do I vote?

I thought it was funny that since I gave up the paper about a year ago I have not received one call asking me to resubscribe. In the past when I went to a weekend subscription I was called at least once a week to try and induce me to come back full time. Also there is no more free "holiday" papers we used to get. I put it down to a paper cutting overhead...or just winding down.


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