Dear Washington Post- Stop killing yourself

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Dear Washington Post,

Last night I got a phone call from someone trying to get me to subscribe to your new "Capital Business" publication, most likely because I am a regular weekly & weekend subscriber. I told the woman on the other end no and explained why and mentioned that I have pondered canceling my regular subscription all together.

The "Capital Business" publication lacks what I liked about your old business section, before you gutted it. I want to look at a list of stocks. I want to see what are their dividends if any, and their P/E ratios. I can't get that in your daily minuscule section of business in the A section of the paper, and it doesn't appear in "Capital Business" either. I don't buy what I don't want.

This call happened while 'the Help' was over for dinner. He's got a few friends in the newspaper/ broadcasting paid-journalism field. He told me of a conversation he's had with these friends, and how they mentioned your editorial staff is paying more attention to the online side than to the print side, which might explain the typos and other errors. And there was something about your copywriters, can't remember what, but there is something wrong there. Those friends were frightened about the path your paper seems to be taking. "Frightened" was the word they used and they have been inside. The quality of the paper has gone downhill really fast in the 15 years I've been reading it. It may have started with the buy-outs.

As I've said, I pondered canceling my weekday subscription. Want to know what's keeping me, so far? Comics, metro, and food. In that order. Sometimes the theater listings. If the Washington Times ever vamped up and expanded their comics you'd be in trouble. I also value the Post as fish wrap. It's handing for wetness in the basement, wrapping packages, soaking up bacon grease or other fried foods, paint projects, washing windows, weed-block, and a variety of projects around the house. For that I could use any newspaper, except the City Paper for the food things, that paper seems unclean.

Maybe your business model or some consultant has told you that the Internets is where it's at. Ok. I hope that's bringing in money and justifying your $490 a share price. Maybe you don't need paper subscribers, with our need for deliverymen who knock over our pots and break our plants.

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1 Comment

My point exactly. I posted something on April 26th saying that it was the worst excuse for a "weekly publication" with copied news, articles with so many damn errors, and poor layout. Then it turned out I knew the person who did layout. While I don't agree about seeing a stock list, since all that and more are available online, I do think they sacrificed the business section to create this and just added a bunch of wire stories, etc. I don't expect this to last. I don't know why WaPo thinks they can charge for a weekly business section.