Friday, March 02, 2007

The late late news

You can't spell "news" with out "new". So why did it take the Enquirer five days to report the death of Brian Rowe, chairman emeritus of GE aircraft engines? GE put out a press release on his death on Feb. 22, and the Enquirer didn't print it until Feb. 27. (Thank you to an email tipster for that one.) And the Enquirer reports today that Fifth Third is putting its CEO on the board of directors. Fifth Third put that news out on Tuesday. Note how the Enquirer obscures the date of release by saying "this week."

The problem is that the Enquirer newsroom simply doesn't have enough people to cover a city this size. If news like this is delayed three to five days, what else is the Enquirer missing? If you can't report news in a timely manner, that's not a formula for getting more people to read the Enquirer.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Mr. Whig said...

And the thing is, they don't care.

And this is why you should plod on, NewsAche - if only to serve as a lone voice for quality (talk about your uphill battles).

It's long overdue. When I left Elm in my rear-view mirror, it was the happiest day of my life.

When it came to ignoring its employees, putting managers in positions they weren't ready for and treating its readers the way a baby treats a diaper, the Enquirer had no equal. I'll bet it's still that way, only worse.

So keep shining the light. You know, give light and the people will find their own way.

hey that's a pretty catchy slogan

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a conversation with a co-worker today the topic turned to my former employer, the Enquirer. The conversation was with a a 33 year old, the sort of reader that any newspaper would love to have a newspaper habit.

The only other details I will offer about him is that he isn't a subscriber. He travels to other cities frequently, one in particular.

This conversation was not in regard to any of the recent Enquirer blunders and HE brought it up... He asked me and these are close to the words, "How come it is so bad?" He went on to say that he loves going several cities that he named and that he enjoys getting those papers. Because of his age, I was surprised that he IS a newspaper reader, when he can get one that suits his taste. From this conversation, it seems that he CAN get that just about anywhere he goes other than here in Cincinnati, where he lives.

Before he could name the reasons that he feels as he does, I stopped him. The only answer I could muster was that there are way too many.

Is there any way that Kroger might start stocking the Tribune again?

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cringe when asked where I work. Male prostitute would get less flak than this sorry newspaper job. The enquirer has farted on everyone.

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone who has received home delivery of the weekend Enquirer in the last several years knows that they would also give you "premium issues" (Columbus Day, MLK Day, etc.) for free. But what they failed to tell you in your bill is that they started charging you for those papers last year, without your authorization. Yep, it's true. It took complaints to the Better Business Bureau and the Ohio Attorney General Consumer Fraud Division to get them to stop the rip off. Look for the change in your next bill. How many of you knew that?

Yep, THAT'S your Enquirer for you. How low would they go next time?

By the way, if you are one of those Enquirer weekend delivery subscribers since May of 2006 who was unwittingly paying for those "premium issues", but did not want them, call up the subscription department and demand a refund/credit. I did, and received it. SPREAD THE WORD!

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much money did you get back? And, do you have links to verify the info?

Multiplying what you got back by say by, 140,000 subscribers is no small amount of money...they should be forced to make it public in their paper and give cash back to everyone.

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again... and further explanation at the end.

The problems at the Enquirer are well beyond the news department. If you care to take the circulation complaints to a higher authority, ABC (The Audit Bureau of Circulation) is the the place to do it. Complaining to Gannett will get you nothing. Complaining to the Enquirer might get you a refund but only masks the issue.

Here is the ABC contact information:
http://www.accessabc.com/contactabc.htm

ABC Headquarters
900 N. Meacham Road
Schaumburg, IL 60173-4968
Tel: 847-605-0909
Fax: 847-605-0483

In case you didn't know, circulation numbers dicate how much advertisers will pay. The Enquirer doesn't act as if it cares about readers but they DO care about advertising dollars. Advertisers want their message in front of readers. That is why exposing this practice is how the reader (you) can be heard.

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pertaining to the Enquirer "premium" issues that are forced on and billed to weekend subscribers:

The "premium" issues are not a new thing. Formerly the name used was "bonus days."

"Bonus days" used to be associated with holidays or an event when most weekend or Sunday subscribers had an additional day off or for an increase of public interest for an event like Opening Day. That meant there was more time or interest in read a newspaper.

Each "premium" issue is billed at a rate of 39 cents.

The amount billed to the subscriber was minimal with the 5-6 "bonus" issues per year and most weekend subscribers did/do not notice the change in the bill.

The Enquirer pushes automatic billing and payment. With EZPay, payments are automatically deducted from the subscribers bank or credit accounts. The Enquirer knows that the majority of people do not notice automatic payments.

About two years ago, the count of these extra issues increased from approximately 6 to 40 per year. In 2007, the count is 54.

Because there was a cost associated to the subscriber, the name changed from "bonus" to "premium." The name change occurred during a circulation audit.

The name "premium" was selected and the connotation was that there would be something more than usual in the paper.

With each "premium" edition, circulation is increased by 60,000 copies.

With the increase in circulation, deadlines are earlier.

Earlier deadline means less or further out-dated news and information in print for everyone.

Here are the "premium" days for 2007 as published on the Enquirer website:

New Years' Day
BCS Championship Game
M. L. King Day
New Homes New Developments
Features Monthly Calendar Feb.
Daytona 500 Preview
President's Day
New Homes New Developments
Features Monthly Calendar March
NCAA Basketball (spec. section)
St. Patrick's Day
New Homes New Developments
Features Monthly Calendar April
Red's Opening Day
Opening Day Game Coverage
Masters Coverage
New Homes New Developments
Golf Section
Features Monthly Calendar May
Flying Pig Results
Indy 500 Preview
Memorial Day
Features Monthly Calendar June
Family/Women Special Section
Flag Day
New Homes New Developments
Features Monthly Calendar July
Independence Day
Women's ATP
New Homes New Developments
Features Monthly Calendar Aug.
Back to School
New Homes New Developments
College Football
Features Monthly Calendar Sept.
Labor Day
Patriot's Day (9/11)
Parenting
New Homes New Developments
Holiday Craft Fairs Guide
Features Monthly Calendar Oct.
Columbus Day
New Homes New Developments
Features Monthly Calendar Nov.
Veteran's Day
College Basketball
Thanksgiving Day
Thanksgiving Holiday
Features Monthly Calendar Dec.
Wish List
Gift Guide
New Homes New Developments
Christmas Day
Features Monthly Calendar Jan. '08

Underlying problems with this are that everyday subscribers get less when a "premium" day is scheduled. Earlier deadlines mean further outdated information.

Weekend and Sunday subscribers get more--that being they incur more cost and more to pick up off the driveway--54 times a year.

Circulation numbers appear to be growing at the Enquirer due in large part to "premium" issues.

Better circulation number mean that advertisers have a higher cost.

Advertisers pass the cost of advertising on to the consumer.

The Enquirer is making off like a bandit by forcing upon people what they didn't ask for.

Everyone is paying for this dearly. The community is paying more either directly or at point of purchase. And, we are getting less information for that price.

11:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

New Homes New Developments? The Calendar? And what are they doing to honor Columbus day? What a joke.

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe they reported the death several days late because they were waiting to see whether the decedent was actually dead

2:48 AM  

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