Is the Times-Standard Committing Suicide?

The hits just keep on coming. Last week I was notified by snailmail that my bill for the Times, digital access included, will be increased from $11.66 to $16.50 effective immediately. That ‘s a 41% increase!! Who does that ? No one who wants to keep customers.  

Then I got another letter telling me that instead of the current TV listing coming with the Sunday paper, it’s now going to show up on Thursday with the revolting title of “URGE”.  I’m not kidding you.  Kim Wear confirmed in Sunday’s paper that “Urge” will contain the entertainment news that was in the TriCity and that the TriCity will be downgraded to a weekly shopper, published on Tuesdays.

It’s been obvious for a long time that the T-S was in trouble and I sympathize with Kim, Clay and the other talented people down there, but really, “Urge”? What urge are we referring to? Is it the urge to go sit on the pot while you read the paper? An “urge” is not a pleasant sensation. According to my dictionary, it’s “a strong need, wish or impulse to do something.”  Has the entertainment scene up here grown that dire? Do you go to concerts or movies because of an “urge” to do so? I didn’t think so.  The urge to vomit is a typical urge. Somehow I don’t think that’s what they meant to suggest, but there it is. Was this revolting nomenclature dictated by corporate powers? 

The T-S has been carrying ads for months now advertising their surplus paper for sale. This is creepy, like a drunk selling his blood, but it was a fair augury of things to come. I literally learned to read on the morning Times (that, and Little Lulu comics) and I take umbrage when people mess with my paper, especially by imposing a title that smacks more of biology than entertainment. Sorry, “urge” just doesn’t  cut it. Go back to the drawing board, folks, and meanwhile I’ll be figuring out where to squeeze out an extra $60 bucks a year for the dubious pleasure of reading a publication called “Urge”.

Urge? Come on, now.  What’s next? Barf?

41 thoughts on “Is the Times-Standard Committing Suicide?

  1. I never got the letter regarding the price increase. Hmmmmm I’m like the guy above; I Iike reading the paper in the morning with my coffee, doing the crossword, etc. Didn’t sign up for that stupid TV guide when it was offered; you can what’s on with the guide on TV if you really need to. Otherwise, I just look at the daily one. Like it matters anyway— TV doesn’t have that much to offer.

  2. Interesting experience. I knew Rick Storre who was tragically murdered. Driving by his home on Sunday morning I noticed about a half dozen newspapers laying on the walkway to the porch of his home. I immediately contacted the Times-Standard and informed them they were still delivering to a home where the occupant was no longer alive and asked that they cease delivering papers and to pick up the papers lying in the footpath so the people who rob houses won’t see a sign that someone is not home.

  3. They have ripped me off one too many times. I paid for a year subscription in June of Last year. I paid a month early, so I should have been renewing again in July. I received numerous bills saying it was due in February. I called and talked to management many times and they won’t make things right. I’m tired of the bull they are trying to feed me. I paid for a year and they said it was six months. They are charging over $70.00 more year now. They can keep their paper. What they report isn’t worth what I put out. I get my new elsewhere. Like here.

    • You have my sympathy. Sounds like they have a ways to go in customer service. They’ve always been good as far as I was concerned but last week I discovered they’d double-billed me in March, notified them Friday morning, was told they’d get back to me. It’s now 10 pm Monday. We’ll see.

  4. When I got the letter I was enraged. While I can understand the need to increase rates, especially if it’s been awhile, but not all at once. I would of kept my subscription if they had spread the increase over 2 or 3 years. It would be interesting to know how many subscribers stopped their subscriptions after receiving that letter

    • I guess different folks like it different ways. I’m not sure which way I’d prefer. The more subtle monthly or annual increases are annoying, too. City Garbage seems to have been raising their rates a little bit each year, if not more often, especially since garbage service became mandatory in Eureka.

      Cox Cable- before Suddenlink came into the picture- seemed to raise their rates about a dollar a year. Never noticed it until I considered switching to satellite. Then I got rather annoyed.

      It didn’t really bother me much to get the Times- Standard notice as it didn’t seem they’d raised their rates in some years.

  5. I would urge any one advertising in the TS to ask for a current circulation number. The prices haven’t changed in years but the circulation has dropped, meaning the price should be lower.

  6. We’ll I will be glad that the Tri-city is no longer littering my lawn. It will be sad though as I grab stacks and use it to start my fireplace. The TS has been subpar for too long, why would you still be paying for it.

    • Looks like the TriCity is a dead issue except as an insert but the T-S is still the paper of record here. For us oldtimers there will be a disturbance in the force if it ceases.

    • I sure hope that you are not using the online subscription service they have through company called pressplay or some such- I know of two people,myself one of them- who used the 99 cent 30 day trial and called to BOTH cases pressplay continued to bill,using tricks like very limited contact hours and only can cancel by phone- with two hours on hold to do so.they billed 8.99 mo for up to 8 months, and when finally charges were disputed by bank or credit card as fraudulent,they refunded PART of money, and STILL CONTINUED TO BILL!!finally stopped billing by second dispute from bank they then took back part of the partial refund ,claiming comp policy of no refunds after sixty days or some nonsense like that.. in all each person was out 50 to 100 bucks and a massive amount of timewith no recourse and my friend actually had to change her debit card number.please do NOT be swindled by the times scamdard online sub.

    • I let my subscription to T/S lapse last year. I still receive the paper every morning. I check the obits, clip the crossword, recycle the rest, and call it good.

  7. If everyone wasn’t reading all the news online but still buying papers, the Times Standard would probably be in good shape, but that’s just not what is happening. The Beacon has also shrunk to a one page convenient story news item. The only investigative journalism on the north coast is the Journal, bless them. The Lost Coast Outpost suffers an overabundance of hallucinatory comment but does offer quick access to breaking news. News Channel 3 seems to be seeing some improvement and needs yet more on their web site. And yes, indeed, these are just personal opinions. For these and a $5 bill you can get a cup of coffee in most Humboldt restaurants.

  8. I just checked online and an annual print and included e-subscription now runs over $200 per year for the T-S. But isn’t just the e-edition at record searchlight $120/year, just for the opportunity for the trolls to give me chest pains. I appreciate the effort both of these papers put in. I was very disappointed in the T-S when they went to charging extra for the Sunday weekly entertainment insert. Didn’t Netscape destroy their stock price once by a whopping price increase? Smarter now, the burn notice only applies for new subscribers. Second opinion—I like the concept and the name. I suffer the loss of my favorite comics, etc. I am going out now to get my Monday paper that I paid for:-). There were numerous complaints about the generic “Start Your Day Here” insert on page A2. It could be greatly improved by inserting something like ‘see page A3’ where the twitter feed could refer us to an actual story in the paper. But that would probably involve human intervention. Am I the only one to read the slim pickins classifieds? What is this craigslist thingy anyway:-)? Both and the T-S have an extremely thin bench. The Journal has poached two of the T-S’s best reporters, and then they lost Burns to the lostcoastoutpost. I take heart that in his 2013 shareholder letter Warren Buffett explains why he spent $344 million buying 28 newspapers in the last 15 months. He is bullish on …The man bought Coke and now does not have to worry about the share price as the dividend exceeds what he once paid per share. He buys when others have fear and sells when others have greed. I hope our T-S survives this chaos.

    • The ole Sub-standard has been on a downward spiral for awhile now, as it only prints articles that berate, demagog and demeans all opinions, not in step with their liberal point of view or the Obama Administration and is a charter member of the lame stream media. Articles are predicable.
      When T.S. cancelled rural subscription delivery, we were only given the option of a sub-standard e account and no refund, even though I had just renewed my subscription, for the 26th year. Great customer service. lol

      • I don’t know about the other ones, but Dish Network has a channel that shows you all the listings. They’re fairly accurate. Can’t use it to check more than the next few hours, but we never use the paper TV schedules anymore.

        No, I’m not plugging Dish Network. If everything was equal, I’d probably go back to Suddenlink.

        • I got so many calls from Dish Network that I complained to the FTC and they added me to the class-action suit (remember when they were going wild with the calls to people on the Do NOt Call list?) I got a nice letter thanking me but no $$$. I’m happy with my Suddenlink bundle.

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