Call back and get the P-I. Everyone who's annoyed about the McGavick endorsement should join you in making the switch.
J.R. is right. Papers are very sensitive about keeping subscribers these days.
I also called the Times today to cancel our household's seven-days-a-week subscription, which I've held continuously since moving back here after college in 1995. It pains me a bit, because I've had some exposure to the Blethen family, I think they take their role as local owners and stewards of the institution very seriously, and they're good folks (especially the younger generation now coming into leadership roles, like Ryan Blethen). While I generally read both local papers online (and will continue to do so, without clicking on any advertisements, of course) I've viewed my Times subscription as a token of financial support for an important locally owned institution which, in its news section at least, offers balanced coverage of regional issues. But when their ed board can be so blinded by its adherence to a single issue, the estate tax, that they endorse a guy like Mike McGavick, I just can't go on forking over $45 every few months. Like Amy, I also spoke to a polite customer service representative who did not try to talk me out of it, but did say she hoped they could win me back someday. They will have an opportunity to do so - in six years, by endorsing Maria Cantwell for a third term in the Senate. If the Times still exists in 2012, that'll be their chance to erase this fuck-up.
I meant to cancel mine back when they wrote all sorts of shit about bringing back the teen dance ordinance after the Capitol Hill shootings. Actually finally just did it. Told 'em it was because of their editorial staff's right wing bias and especially the McGavick endorsement. They didn't argue. Subscribed to the PI so I can read Cathy Sorbo's Saturday column. I've been reading the Times for 35 years. Realize they also endorsed Bush, and Sidran for Mayor.
I canceled mine today, too.
Sent: Monday, October 23, 2006 4:34 PM
Subject: Cancel My Subscription
Effective immediately please cancel my home subscription to the Seattle Times.
Your endorsement of Mike McGavick because he supports abolishing the estate tax is shameless. Your endless promotion of this cause has finally gone over the line, and your paper lacks any credibility now.
Please confirm receipt of this request.
I don't subscribe to the Times (I'd sooner eat my own eyeballs), but my 80 year old grandmother has had a subscription since the dawn of time. The absolute first thing she did yesterday when she got her paper was to call customer service and switch to the PI. (I sort of pity the poor hapless service rep that had to handle Grandma's politically-induced rage.)
Mine went yesterday. The woman I spoke with didn't do anything to try to keep me. Wishful thinking I suppose to imagine their estate shrinking enough to pull their heads out of their collective ass on that issue...
You guys did the right thing. I haven't subscribed to the Times for years. And anyway, The Stranger is Seattle's ONLY newspaper!
this is interesting. I don't get either local paper, but now I'm wondering how many people canceled the Times since the McGavick endorsement. I hope it makes a little dent.
did anyone else hear blethlen on "weekday" today? he is such a self-serving, double-talking, unlikeable publisher. he should not only be embarrassed to walk in his own shoes, but he should apologize to the world of journalism for being a part of it.
Canceling subscriptions certainly sends a message, but don't be fooled by thinking you're somehow harming the company financially (or helping when you DO subscribe.)
Your subscription nickel basically pays for them to print your copy, load it onto a truck, haul it to a distribution center and chuck it into your driveway/yard/bird feeder.
They make money by selling big-ass color full-page ads to Macy's and Frye's, not by selling copies. Although a drop in readership could affect the rates they charge, I guess.
I never considered getting a subscription for the times due to their backassed lesser seattle conservatism.
Furthermore, why bother with the subcription when you can read the online version for free?
Sorry to burst your bubble, folks, but this doesn't work.
I was a Times subscriber for about a year. I effectively canceled about two months ago and didn't receive papers for about two weeks. Then they came back in, trickling. First a Monday here, a Friday there. Now, it's back on my driveway every morning.
At least you HAVE a 2nd daily option (the PI). For a long time now most cities have been unable to boast two papers (like here in Phoenix). The FCC sure knows how to loosen rules and promote big media! I love starting the day with the paper, especially Sundays, but it has been years and years since I cancelled the AZ Republic for much the same reason. Luckily, I can usually read the paper at work, or the library, or at the homes of most of my friends who don't have nearly as many hang-ups as I do. And, yes, online access is nice, but it will never be quite as satisfying as hearing the thud on the porch and then flipping through the pages (even with the messy ink). I grew up delivering newspapers in Springfield, IL, and my old hometown paper still refuses to this day to print same-sex personal ads in their "family newspaper". How's that for a reason to cancel?
Cancelling subscriptions do make a dent in their circulation numbers, which advertisers look at to make their advertising decisions. If they have X number of subscribers one year and X minus Y the next year, advertisers notice.
I don't understand why anyone would cancel a subscription just because the editorial dept, or owner, endorses an adversarial candidate. Isn’t the purpose of the editorial section is to present us with a range of opinion? I understand that ol’ Frank is mostly responsible for this, but that’s his prerogative as the owner.
My question is more about the product than the message. The Seattle Times is not a defective product. Being a newspaper, or blog for that matter, I NEVER expect to always agree with the publisher, because I ENJOY being entertained with views opposite of mine. Wouldn’t it be boring otherwise?
@10 -- totally, that was kind of wild to listen to.
You cancelled your paper subscription because of the editorial board's political endorsement? Jesus, your knee jerk much?
Why subscribe to either of the local dailies when they are both free online?
I cancelled the Times a few months back because it's just such a crappy paper, but I think the final straw for me was when Blethen threatened to move it to Bellevue.
And Wells - why is it "knee jerk" to cancel your subscription if you disagree with the editorial policy? It's your money, and if you think it's an inferior product, why pay for it? It's not like there's not a million alternatives to it anyway.
I subscribe to the P.I. because I think it is in Seattle's best interest in having two daily papers. One only needs to look at the Times' series on illegally sealed court records and the P.I.'s series on the King Co. Sheriffs dept. to see how we benefit from having two dailys.
For those of you who enjoy reading the paper online for free, just wait...as soon as the Times is successful in killing the JOA, I guarantee they'll institute a fee for their online content.
If the freaking NY Times or WA Post can't get online readers to cough up for a paid subscription, what makes you think the Seattle Times is going to be able to do so?
People have the right to cancel their subscription for any reason, of course -- but I think a lot of people seem to cancel their subscription to the Times every several months!
I really think it is strange that educated people don't make the distinction between the editorial pages of a newspaper and the rest of it. They have nothing to do with one another, and though the editorials are very bad, the Times is most definitely not a crappy paper like someone above said. Certain people love to feel superior and say things like "I only read the New York Times" or whatever. Just pure snobbery -- too good for the local paper. The Times is very well respected nationally for its journalism.
I'd like to cancel my subscription to the Stranger over those disturbed posts by that sick pretentious fuck Charles Mudede -- except you can't subscribe to this rag! Damn you Stranger!
I'm the one who said that the Times is a crappy paper, and I'll stand by that. In the meantime, kindly cite the national sources who "respect it for its journalism"
In a nutshell, the Times has way too many on wire reports for a "big city" paper, it does way too many fluff pieces on how swell our local businesses are, and it depends entirely too much on cliched "photojournalism"
Smarmy crap for suburan-minded doofuses who subscribe to a newspaper because mom & dad did. It's worse than USA Today.
#1 and #2 et al telling AKH to get the P-I: so what happens when the P-I makes a crap endorsement? Does she cancel that and switch back?
Pshaw. Amy Kate, you have the internet. You don't need an archaic print daily thrown on your doorstep.
"The Times is very well respected nationally for its journalism."
You'll have to be more specific. Several of their reporters (and teams of reporters) have won Pulitzers but the Times isn't any more respectable than the P-I in journalistic terms.
Also, don't be fooled into thinking the news department runs entirely independent of the editorial board. That's pie in the sky Journalism 101 kind of thinking. In reality, the editorial bent of most papers oozes into a lot of other areas. It's subtle, but it's there (sometimes it's not even that subtle).
Ryan -- you'll have to be more specific in how the editorial board is influencing the newsroom, because i don't think you know what you're talking about.
Well, first of all I wasn't saying that the PI isn't a good paper, although in typical Hearst fashion, it is run with a barebones staff. The Times newsroom has a lot more reporters and it shows. In any case, Pulitzers are the only prize most people know about, but there are a lot more national prizes than that and the Times does win quite a few. The Columbia Journalism Review ranked US papers a few years back and the Times was in the top 15, I think it was 12 or 13.
While it does certainly have a lot of wire, I don't think it is fair to call it a "big city" paper. The circulation is comparable to what, the Indianapolis Star? The Orlando Sentinel? If there were only one paper in Seattle, the circulation of that paper would be closer to a "big city" size. But compare the Times to other papers with daily circulation of about 250,000 and it looks pretty damn good.
I cancelled my subscription years ago, over the Times' shoddy treatment of their unionized workers.
Unfortunately, because of the goddamned JOA, the Sunday paper on my porch every weekend still says Seattle Times, which pisses me off. I'm a P-I subscriber, dammit.
The P-I has a way beter web site, too.
I canceled my Times subscription last year after they endorsed Ron Sims for County Executive. We missed the daily paper at first but then discovered what a relief it was to have a newsprint-free kitchen.
I think the dailies should stop wasting their resources on endorsements that few people trust and seem to win the paper more enemies than friends. Focus on news gathering instead, and leave the endorsements to interest groups and bloggers.
Shark may often be out in left field (or in his case, RIGHT field) but I agree with his last point. Stick to the news, let people draw their own conclusions from it rather than giving them conclusions via endorsements, and leave endorsements to the non-objective sources.
"While it does certainly have a lot of wire, I don't think it is fair to call it a "big city" paper. The circulation is comparable to what, the Indianapolis Star? The Orlando Sentinel? If there were only one paper in Seattle, the circulation of that paper would be closer to a "big city" size. But compare the Times to other papers with daily circulation of about 250,000 and it looks pretty damn good."
So, instead of investing in his product and making it desirable to more people (and in the process, killing off the P-I by providing a better paper) Blethen just sits on his ass, whines about the P-I and the estate tax, and runs a shopping circular for the downtown business crowd. Not very "world class", is it?
What would Colonel Blethen say about that?
Does anyone else remember that the Times endorsed George W. Bush back in 2000? I haven't read the goddamned thing since then. There used to be this great sign on Capitol Hill's Twice Sold Tales that read:
"The Seattle Times endorsed George W. Bush for President of the United States. As a result, we do not carry The Seattle Times."
And that's why I (heart) Twice Sold Tales.
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