Friday, February 28, 2020

4556 Times is Money





Everyone’s best friend in journalism, A.G. Sulzberger, dropped us an email this morning.  It says the price of the New York Times digital subscription will go up in a few days. Sulzberger is the newly minted publisher of the paper. And his note about the additional two bucks each four weeks was, well, apologetic.

And carrying on the paper’s tradition, A.G,’s letter rambled on. And on. And on.  But that’s part of how they got their reputation for covering everything including the UN agenda, the schedule of ship arrivals in New York Harbor and the crossword puzzle comprehensively.  

Or at least in length. We peons sometimes confuse length with depth and scholarship.  Another trick they pull:  throwing in words that no one uses because no one has heard of them. Are you listening, Maureen Dowd?  There’s a workaround for that.  You can click on most any word in a Times article and get a drop down box with the definition.

A.G. is the new kid on the Sulzberger family farm.  So we can excuse some of his blahblah on his relative youth.  And there were some interesting assertions in the email, like a mercifully brief sentence about the paper’s mission. 

 Our mission — to seek the truth and help people understand the world — has never been more important than it is today. And it’s subscribers like you who make our journalism possible.

Always happy to help out, Artie.

Now, let’s see.  The paper has four million digital-only subscribers. So the increase will bring in about $24 million a year.  Probably a little less because enraged subscribers in small numbers likely will cancel. Not a bad haul.

A.G. goes on to list some of the recent top stories.  Hey, if we subscribe, we probably know all about that.  It’s why we subscribe and what we do with the e-paper.

But let’s end this on a list of our own, that of words I had to look up by reading Dowd’s recent columns: 

Auto-da-fé, concupiscence, opéra bouffe, Praetorian, smirch, whingeing, Pharisaic, Javert, just to name a few.

So, OK, A.G., you’ll get your two-buck raise.  But don’t think for a New York minute that you’ve set a precedent.  And keep writing those op-ed pieces for the Wall Street Journal. (Did that really happen?) (Yeah.)

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Any questions? wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2020

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