Monday, November 26, 2007

Cost-cut fallout: Unhappy readers in Hartford, Orlando

When Tribune's Orlando Sentinel killed it's TV Time for non-subscriber sales, readers weren't happy. One reader bought 3 Sunday papers at 3 different locations before he determined the TV listing section had been omitted deliberately. The reader complained, "You did not have any notice whatsoever for people. . . . You left [us] in the dark. You treated [us] unfairly."

At the Hartford Courant, readers want more from their paper and are unhappy with Page One ads, shrinking comics, smaller crossword puzzle squares and numerous copy editing errors and typos created by "the introduction of a new production system" that "has challenged some of the best Courant copy editors", according to the HC's readers representative.

These days because newspapers are businesses desperate to find a new business model that will save them, they must find cost efficiencies wherever they can. But reader expectation of quality should not be underestimated or ignored.

Stripping a newspaper of reliable, quality content readers want will guarantee continued declines in circulation. (end of post)

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