News carriers: killing the biz from the inside out

Dateline: Fri 07 Mar 2008

A reader sent the following. He said "this charming note" was tucked inside his Sunday paper recently:

"It is with great regret that I am announcing my 'retirement' from the Star Rout after 27 years of service. This has been a very difficult decision for me to make. The newspaper company does not support its carriers, they do not compensate us at all for gas and expenditures. In fact, they have cut our pay three times in the past two years in spite of rising fuel and maintenance costs.

"After I computed what the paper company paid me for december and subtracted my delivery expenses from it -- tires, taxes, protective bags for the papers and gas -- I made negative $582!! After getting out of bed 31 straight days at 2 a.m. to deliver their product, that is crazy.!!..."

My comment: After Gannett undercut the men in street sales -- one of their first actions was eliminating those loyal and often colorful characters -- they went to work on the newspapers' carriers. You can see the result above.

As a friend used to say, about the newspaper industry, years ago: a million dollar business, in the hands of 12-year-old carriers? .... how is that any way to run a company? To be sure, it was a damn sight better than what Gannett and its soulless ilk have come up with.

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