Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Decision Made Easier

For each of the past few years, coming up around this time, I have struggled with the decision of whether to renew my subscription to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

I started leaning away from doing it when the powers that be at the paper decided to start parting ways with their best employees, like Stuart Carlson and Tim Cuprisin.

But even then, I gave them one more chance.

Last year, I struggled again, but they convinced me to give it one more year when they dropped the price by one third.

But I think this might finally be the year when I part ways with them.

First of all, money is too damn tight to justify spending it on a paper that reports less and less news, and then doesn't even do so with little accuracy. And early indications are that they are going to jack up their rates sky high this year. It now costs a $1 for the daily if you buy it in a store. Even at the reduced rate of a subscription, that is still a few hundred dollars that I could spend on something more meaningful, like toilet paper or food or paying down some of the real bills we have.

Secondly, their schizophrenic approach to the recent elections in which they spent weeks and months bashing Scott Walker, only to endorse him. Then turn around and spent weeks on buyer's remorse, only to name him the person of the year. If they can't stay consistent, why should I trust them on anything?

Thirdly, they are now reporting that O. Ricardo Pimentel, the last true liberal voice on their Editorial Board, is giving up his leadership role to become a twice-weekly columnist.

In other words, they are finalizing their conversion from a newspaper to the print version of talk radio.

That leaves the only worthwhile things in the paper being the TV Guide (which is usually inaccurate), the comics (available on line) and the word games. Those things don't carry the value that would make such an expenditure feasible.

So, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel people, if you are reading this, don't be surprised when I get my invoice and I call you to tell you goodbye. And don't be surprised if I'm not the only one.


  1. I'm right with you. My only regret is the tips that my paper carrier will lose.

  2. Carlson's cartoons, I can take or leave. Cuprisin, honestly, wasn't that great, and isn't as highly respected in TV and radio circles as you would think. I do, however, think that the eventual downfall of the JS will be their continued attempts to play both sides of the aisle.