Times-Standard to fill Monday news hole with 52-part series on discontinuing Monday newspaper

Here's some guy with a camera. Photo credit: The Eureka Times-Standard

The Times-Standard announced today that “Digital First” Mondays are now in effect. Modeled after North Korea’s “Military First” policy, the new approach will allow the Times-Standard to devote assloads of resources to something it has no hope of doing well, angering thousands and starving much of its staff to death in the process.

The first digital Monday featured an article about not getting a paper, a letter from the publisher about not getting a paper, and also some frequently asked questions on the subject of–what was it? Oh right. Not getting a paper. Super interesting reading all the way around.

Despite their thoroughness overall, however, they did come up a bit short on the Q and A. Sure, they got the big ones: “Where’s the crossword?” “Where are the ads?” “Where’s the Sudoku?” and “Where are the comics?” (“Where’s the news?” came in at question number five, right before the one about not getting your money back even though you paid for seven newspapers a week and now they’re giving you only six.)

So here are a few things we would like to know:

1. What will happen to the penetrating commentary that normally graces the Monday editorial page?

2. When will you begin printing on flushable newsprint?

3. What will you do with Monday’s marijuana graphic?

4. Do you know where I can get a bird that shits only six days a week?

For the hardliners out there who absolutely must know what’s going on every day, Publisher Dave Kuta announced that the news that would have been printed in Monday’s paper will now appear in either the Sunday or Tuesday editions, either before it happens or after you no longer care.

Advertisements

Times-Standard announces it will suck one day less each week

As part of its ongoing effort to run itself into the ground, the Times-Standard announced that after the first of the year it will cease publication of its Monday edition.

Media News Group, the Times-Standard’s parent company, will additionally shutter the Humboldt Beacon, a weekly that managed to serve the Eel River valley just fine for more than 100 years before MNG took it over in 2005.

In a Monday memo, Publisher Dave Kuta wrote, “None of these decisions were made easily, and had I routed this announcement through copy editing instead of going it alone so I could spring it on staff, someone would have caught the subject-object disagreement at the beginning of this sentence.”

Okay, okay, we made that last part up.

This news comes on the heels of a reported blow-out between Times-Standard Managing Editor Kim Wear and City Editor Dave Rosso, who had returned to the daily after its previous city editor came down with a heroin addiction. Following the fight with Wear, Rosso is said to have stormed out and returned the next day to tender his resignation.

So what does all of this mean for Humboldt County? As much as we enjoy making sport of the Times-Standard’s sometimes glorious fails, we don’t wish job loss on anyone, and losing another community newspaper can’t be good news for any of us.

Read the longer second-day article here.

Times-Standard provides one more reason to stop reading it

As part of its strategic plan to reduce costs by downsizing itself into oblivion, the Times-Standard announced a new price structure that requires separate payments for print and online subscriptions.

The announcement was accompanied by a polished ad campaign that showed a photo of a bustling newsroom, beneath which read, “More money, more suck. Promise.”

The new pricing scheme appears to have confused some readers, who wonder why, if they already have a print subscription, they will be billed again to read the same news online. As commenter A Guy said on the North Coast Journal blog,

They’ve already collected the news, written it up, and not had it copy edited or spell checked, so where’s the additional cost?

Netflix outraged thousands of people several weeks ago when it announced separate subscription rates for DVD and digital delivery. Times-Standard Publisher Dave Kuta noted that the two price models are similar, “except Netflix isn’t crap.”

Kuta added, “Increasingly businesses are recognizing that digital content can demand a premium. They’re learning that there’s stuff on the Internet worth paying for. Not our stuff, obviously, but someone’s.”