Carrboro News Subscriptions- Working out the Kinks
After a labor intense
examination of the pros and cons of offering paid subscriptions
to it's customers, The Carrborro News is little closer to
making a decision.
with The Carrboro
Citizen to determine if the paper paper subscription/distribution
route was the way to go. We recognize them as a leader in
the world of International newspapers. As most Newspapers
are cutting corners, laying off reporters and cutting circulation
The Carrboro Citizen is entering an incredible boom cycle.
Think about it, while most newspapers are cutting back, they
went from 0 Newspapers two years ago to a carload or two today(actually,
on Wednesday). If you were to graph that out on a chart, that
would be spike through the ceiling! Who would you go to for
advice? The New York Times which is cutting back it's staff
or a local phenomenon right in our backyard? With long distance
calling rates at the level they are, we chose local!"
The Carrboro News
has been grappling with the decision for what seems like decades
to a three year old paperless paper. "Writing all this
stuff out, getting the proofs to the printer, printing out
all those papers, lugging them around, putting them in boxes
and then picking up the extras the next week to recycle seems
like... well... kind of... a hassle." explained The Carrboro
News Distribution Manager. "That is a lot of work. I
really like distributing the paper online. Very cost effective
and time efficient!"
the The Carrboro News Graphics department on strike,
in order to continue with our award winning article/photo
combination we had to dig into our archives to find
a photo. I don't usually like to divulge personal information,
but this was taken the morning after the night I met
Pamela Anderson(to you, but "Pammy" to me
now) at the Franklin Street Hotel in Chapel Hill. Incidentally,
it was after a meeting with Kirk Ross - editor, reporter,
owner, subscription manager and distribution manager
of The Carrboro Citizen. Kirk had left immediately after
the meeting saying "Ain't nothing going to happen
in this dead beat place!". As timing would have
it, he walked out the back door exactly 20 seconds before
Pammy walked in the front door looking for Kirk. She
looked a little disappointed when I told her that Kirk
went home to work, but after a few drinks, she loosened
up and forgot all about him.
While the decision
to go paper was hard, they have been grappling with the subscription
route with even more difficulty. "Getting these individual
newspapers out to the car and driving all around town is not
my idea of time and cost efficient. Even loading up the family
wagon and driving to the post office seems lie... well...
kind of.... a hassle." explained The Carrboro News Subscription
Manager who has been waiting in the wings for his new job.
"We at The Carrboro News believe in the new 21st Century
Work ethic. Sit at the computer for a couple of hours and
then call it "a day!".
In the original
business plan scribbled out three long years ago we are approaching
the projected date of the implementation of the paper paper
to be distributed with the subscription implementation date
scheduled to follow shortly after the Carrboro Newspaper is
distributed in paper. Should we not move ahead with the paper
paper route then most likely the subscription route will not
Evidently one road
block in the subscription route is the idea of a plethora
of pissed off customers calling, emailing or even worse, stopping
by the office to complain about our lack of efficiency in
distributing our paper. "All it takes is one errant newspaper
and one phone call to ruin my day" explained the Subscription
Manager. As a matter of fact, we're at least two years away
from implementing our subscription program and we already
received a complaint.
I am a new customer and didn't receive my paper this past
I had the same problem 2 weeks ago-my first week of subscribing.
Please let me know if this is going to be an ongoing problem
and if so I will cancel my subscription. Thanks
"If we got
one complaint without even having a subscription program,
can you imagine how many we'll get once we start a subscriptions?
I think we're talking major headache here!"