Dying not worth it

Dateline: Tue 09 Aug 2011

Gannett recently upped its already hefty obituary costs at the Indianapolis Star.

The first 10 lines now cost $190. (There are about 40 characters per line, according to an anonymous spokesman at the newspaper who answered the obit help line).

This $190 fee is a $40-$50 increase, up from $150 for 13 lines.

For each additional line after the first 10 lines, you will pay $13 per line. (Used to be $6 for every line over 20 lines).

Also, no more freebies: if you die and you just want the most simple death notice -- your name, services and calling, etc. -- it will cost $35.

Oh, and a photo is an extra $60.

A friend's obit that appeared recently ran a modest 24 lines with a photo; the bill was $400.

There's no death like Gannett death....so suck it up and keep on breathing. You can't afford to die.




Tell The Truth [Member] said:

How much will this cost:

"I was born. I lived. I died Tuesday. See my ashes at Marco's and hoist a few with my family and friends. And guck Fannett."

When the esteemed Dr. Landrum Shields died a few weeks ago, it took nine days for The Star's brilliant local writers and editors to figure out he was a community icon, and to write a feature story. This was eight days after Amos Brown goaded them over his airwaves. So they can't exactly complain they didn't know.

It might be cheaper to hire a skywriter. And a lot more fun: one more place from which to dump ashes. Or other, uh, materials (whilst flying over N. Penn?)

A pox on their house. They ought to be ashamed.

2011-08-09 09:40:57

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

When a relative died recently, the heirs put the bare minimum in The Star, unwilling to line Gannett's pockets because "everybody who cared" knew the details of the deceased's life anyway!

2011-08-09 10:52:26

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

That makes three of us, TTT and Ms. Cynical.

Having been too darn close for comfort to death's door in the last couple of years, I probably do more thinking about these kinds of things than many people.

The impact of my life (if there is any - smile) will be in how I loved people and how I cared about those in society who would be identified as (in the words of Jesus Christ) "the least of these."

A one graph (or less) notice will be plenty sufficient for me. Maybe my wife will be able to figure out a way to get it on Craigs List so Gannett won't make any profit on my demise.

2011-08-09 12:00:51

news junkie [Member] said:

Back in the day, reporters wrote what were called prepared obits for prominent people, such as politicians, clergy, university presidents, corporate heads, community leaders. I don't think the paper knows that these exist, because John Ryan's 'news' obit was pretty skimpy.

2011-08-09 14:16:48

hendy [Member] said:

It's their space. They can do with it what they will. Doesn't mean you have to like it, or even buy it. You guys keep trying to make The Star into something holy, whereas it is not. It was once interesting. It now serves as only something to pillory, or kvetch about.

Do they do a disservice to the community? Yes. So did Cub Foods. Look at what happened to Cub Foods. This is the Gannett legacy. The editors probably don't agree, but the real estate, the layout, every square inch of that paper has to pay for itself now. That's how these things are viewed. How many people will drop the paper if X comic is removed, or if the horoscopes go away, or if we shrink ____ news down? How about if we charge more for classifieds, or custom publishing, and so forth. It's a business; the soul is lost, and your community is worse for it. And they still haven't fixed their CMS system. And they never will.

2011-08-09 16:51:13

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

The landscape is littered with failed big-box retailers, Hendy. Jacobsen's, Nordy's downtown, Parisian, CIrcuit City, Highland Appliance, Cub, my God the list goes on and on.

I expect more from a Constitutionally-protected institution such as the free press.

Which is why this decay hurts. It's actually painful to watch.

2011-08-09 17:06:16

escapedbeforebeinggannettized [unverified] said:

The Star is a business and needs to make money and turn a profit. Understood. No one dislikes what they represent, overall, more than I do. I do want to pose the question of... why CAN'T a business do one heartfelt,
philanthropic service for the community that doesn't cost money?
Does everything have to have a price on it, does everything have to be "sold out" for the almighty dollar?
In the mire of all the mud, can't their be one shining nicety that they can be proud to represent? Can there be no compassion or empathy with anything, just because they are the
largest media vulture? Apparently not.
Can you imagine how much goodwill and positive publicity they would generate if they did not charge for obits? Obviously, goodwill and kudos do not add to their bottom line on their budgeted spreadsheets; therefore,
positive community perception and appreciation are of no value to them - literally and figuratively.

2011-08-09 20:41:32

hendy [Member] said:

@escaped, community and goodwill aren't in order for The Star. Their overloads require fealty and money in that order. This is why I feel for the ex-Gannetters in the audience, as well as for the community that I lived in until two years or so ago.

Gannett, in turn, must display quarterly fealty to Wall Street and to their executives, who extract a tax on those investing, and their own employees. This is what the corporate world has become. There's not much morality or sense of community, philanthropy, civics, or goodwill needed except where those things has a direct bearing on profits. Wall Street kills you without them, heartlessly, and assuredly. Perceptions mean nothing except where they have a bearing on profits-- that's for the PR department to manage and deliver-- along with SALES.

Go ahead and fight it, Quixote. Don't forget your glasses, cause those windmills have long blades on them.

2011-08-09 22:14:20

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Hmmmm...according to blogposts, you can write a Gannett obit for Abdul's morning radio talk show. Kaput after Friday.

He tried. A little full of himself, but he tried. He worked harder asleep than almost all political reporters in this town work when fully-awake.

It would be a sweet obit.

"Ballard apologist and bon-vivant media hound Abdul Hakim Shabazz ended his early-morning radio show today, to move on to God-knows-what. He had a strong nose for good news, even though he let his fave politicos off the hook, and even became a cheerleader for them too often."

Discuss among yourselves.

Obits shouldn't be saved for the purely-dead. As in room-temperature dead. Have a little fun with obits. Gannett sure is.

2011-08-10 19:50:30

hendy [Member] said:

On obituaries: they're not for the dead. Just like heros; many are still alive.

But Credibility is dead. Caught in a maelstrom of fibs and bribes and campaign promises and backdoor deals, it was murdered. The propaganda machines were applied (clear!) but the patient died on the operating table as it was dissected to death by "pundits" and talk show hosts.

It will be buried next to its spouse, Truth, at the lowest point in Crown Hill Cemetery. Governor Daniels will say a few words, and interment will be performed by the Reverend Ted Haggard will officiate. Donations and memorials should be made to GBTV at http://www.gbtv.com/?gclid=CKns0-qWxqoCFQzHKgodh3Qr0Q#.

2011-08-10 21:20:23

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