Times Free Press Subscription Increase May Be The Last Straw - And Response (3)

Sunday, February 03, 2013

I have been a lifelong subscriber the Chattanooga Times-Free Press (including its predecessors). Over the past several years, I have seen the steady decline in the value of the “product” delivered to my driveway. Instead of real “news” articles; we are seeing more and more of the so called “lifestyle” stories in place of reports of the things people need to know about and look for in a news source. Add to that recycled stories from the national news…. Well, you see what I mean.

To me, the TFP is slowly becoming more of a magazine than a newspaper. I still do not understand why they started placing opinion pieces on the front page several years ago. I often wonder why I continue to pay for the subscription (even at the current price).. I suspect it is just an old habit that I am afraid to break for fear that I might miss something important. For me, however, that fear has probably faded entirely. I am sad to see the newspaper disappear from my morning ritual – I will miss the morning routine of going to the street, picking up the morning paper and holding the “paper” in my hand while drinking the morning’s first cup of coffee.

Based on the announcement/letter in this past Saturday’s edition, the TFP claims they are going to have to increase the cost of subscriptions (without saying how much) in order to make money. I am all for a business making a profit and do not begrudge any business the profit for their labor. However, I am pretty sure a business cannot expect to charge more for producing less and sustain your business. It seems to me that if they want to make money, the TFP should give some serious thought toward the prospect of producing a product that the public is willing to pay for to begin with; otherwise, they are just delaying the inevitable. For me, I expect this price increase will be the last straw.

Barry L. Abbott | Cavett & Abbott, PLLC

* * *

I agree that the quality/quantity has slipped a bit at the TFP, but the writers have done a good job of reporting incisive, mostly accurate and interesting stories. And, where do readers get left and right (ugh) pages in the editorial section? I also commend the deliverers for their service. I spent my childhood in Nashville waiting for the paper at the end of the driveway at 4 a.m. -  a habit I have nurtured for over 60 years, most of them here in Chattanooga.

The rate increase is no surprise, probably being even with lesser papers in the Southeast markets of our size. That is not a big deal.

That said, the TFP is taxing my patience when they do those stupid fold over ads on page 3. They are irritating, inconvenient and give me a reason to boycott the advertisers. I imagine others feel the same way.

Mark Rudisill

* * * 

Maybe the decline in the readership and subsequent rate hike has to do with the paper turning into Chattanooga’s version of “The Daily Pravda” rather than an actual unbiased news reporting “news” paper? 

John T. Sanders

* * *

I agree with Mr. Abbott about the quality of the news in the TFP.

The editorials used to be thought provoking. In the past few years they have morphed into hate conservative rants. Many times, editorials that are about national issues parrot the New York Times which, incidentally, used to be a thought provoking journal.

In addition, any news story out of Washington that is critical of the President, Harry Reid or any liberal and it seems to get the same omission as it does from NBC news. For example, Senator Menendez and teen age prostitutes in the Dominican Republic is not news, but “tea party” member’s fighting gun control legislation is. All this proves is that ”What’s good for the goose is not good for the gander.”

The motto of the paper used to be “To report the news impartially without fear or favor.”  The new motto could be, “To report the news partially with favor to our slant.”

Jimmy Campbell


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