Toledo Talk

More cuts at The Blade?

Blade seeks cuts in union jobs, wages, benefits
Kristen Rapin
Toledo Free Press

In a first-round contract proposal to its guilds, Block Communications Inc. (BCI) has asked employees of The Blade for cuts in benefits, a 20-percent reduction in salaries and the elimination of approximately 138 jobs.

According to “scorecard’ documents given to Toledo Free Press by a Blade union member, BCI is seeking to reduce its operating costs by $13.1 million.

Proposed reductions include a permanent freeze of pensions and a 20-percent wage reduction for all bargaining units as well as the elimination of roughly 83 full-time and 55 part-time positions (typographical errors in the documents were corrected by Toledo Free Press; the uncorrected “scorecard” lists a total loss of three part-time staff and 135 full-time employees).

Other cuts include the outsourcing of prepress functions to Pittsburgh and the outsourcing of classified ad sales.

Lillian Covarrubias, president of the Toledo Newspaper Guild, which represents Blade employees, said it is too early in the negotiation processes to comment on proposed cuts.

The union’s current contract was effective May 29, 2007 to May 31, 2010. The estimated cost savings from the first-round proposal are based on a March 1, 2011 implementation.

Luann Sharp, assistant managing editor at The Blade, told Toledo Free Press to contact Steve Spolar, director of human resources for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Blade, for comment. At press time, Spolar did not return calls for comment.

created by bikerdude on Nov 15, 2010 at 05:42:11 am     Media     Comments: 84

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Comments ... #

Yes, this info jibes with a letter that went out to some Blade employees from their union.

posted by jmleong on Nov 15, 2010 at 07:38:14 am     #  

not surprising due to the economy, ad rates, subscription decline, electronic copy (might have to pay for this at some point), and a general consolidation of services and departments between toledo and Pittsburgh. Also can't believe that old building downtown is cheap to maintain and heat/cool.

posted by Hoops on Nov 15, 2010 at 08:40:46 am     #   1 person liked this

Not that it would help the Toledo Blade (BCI) much, but it seems the Toledo Blade is not available for the Kindle. The Columbus Dispatch, The Plain Dealer, Detroit Free Press, and The Detroit News are all available for $6.99 per month Kindle subscriptions. At Amazon.com, I don't see the Blade nor the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as choices. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, however, is available for the Kindle at $5.99 per month.

I've been pondering a Kindle purchase. I don't have that nostalgic notion of wanting to hold a newspaper, book, or magazine in my hand. I think with a convenient, more portable device like a Kindle or some other tablet that offers well-formatted electronic content, we'd purchase a lot more "print" media than we do now, and thus, read more. The only problem I can see is sharing the device.

posted by jr on Nov 15, 2010 at 11:08:40 am     #  

"The outsourcing of prepress functions to Pittsburgh”. Does this mean that a lot of the reports we now read would be written in Pittsburgh? A reporter could watch a "Knowledge Stream" of a TPS Board of Education meeting, and probably get 90% of what happened at the meeting. He does not have to be in Toledo to do that.

posted by oldsendbrdy on Nov 15, 2010 at 12:08:37 pm     #  

Oldsenbrdy, how would that be any different than Brian Wilson on WSPD?

posted by Linecrosser on Nov 15, 2010 at 12:20:29 pm     #  

How would that be any different than Brian Wilson on WSPD

IMO, it's not. However, you would not have a reporter who knows the personalities on the schoolboard or city council or commissioners if they just watched the meetings online. All you would get is the "surface". But, considering the stellar reporters at the Blade, surface is all you're really getting now so why not "outsource".

As far as being available on Kindle for a monthly subscription, I would ask myself whether the stories in the Blade are worth enough to me to pay a premium--since I can get the same information from many of the TV station websites. Right now, for me, the answer is no. You may have your favorite writers and that may be enough to pony up a subscription fee for you, but if you just want the basic news, I can't see the TV outlets ever charging a subscription for their sites.

posted by oldhometown on Nov 15, 2010 at 12:26:05 pm     #  

The Blade as a whole has really turned into a mediocre news paper. I used to love to start my day by reading The Bladefrom the first to the very last page. I can now complete this before my husband gets out of the shower! Just not much in the paper anymore. The whole paper is in dire need of a major overhaul as it has gotten really stale...

posted by RockChick on Nov 15, 2010 at 12:37:35 pm     #  

IMO, RockChick, some of the deficiencies you are seeing in the newspaper as of late are a direct result of past layoffs.

I still read it -- the actual paper copy -- while I'm eating my lunch most everyday.

posted by jmleong on Nov 15, 2010 at 01:43:08 pm     #  

Prepress = typesetting & design-type related functions, not writing.

(Only reason I know that is because my husband does prepress work. I had no idea what it was until I met him.)

posted by mom2 on Nov 15, 2010 at 03:52:03 pm     #  

You drop a book in a puddle and you can dry it off. Drop a Kindle in water and Amazon will gladly sell you another. Can't wait for the schools to require Kindles for the young,fumble-fingered scholars.

posted by oldsendbrdy on Nov 15, 2010 at 09:50:06 pm     #  

Can't wait for the schools to require Kindles for the young,fumble-fingered scholars.

Don't worry...by the time it gets to that point, Kindles will be purchased by the school system and distributed free of charge to students, of course subsidized by your property taxes. So it will be free for the "fumble-fingered" to drop them in many puddles--just step right up and get another.

posted by oldhometown on Nov 15, 2010 at 11:58:24 pm     #  

"Drop a Kindle in water ..."

I don't plan to do that. And couldn't you make the water claim for things like an iPod or a smartphone? Wouldn't it be better to drop a single music CD in water than an iPod that contains zillions of songs, photos, and videos? And wouldn't a landline phone with its attached phone cord and limited mobility be safer than carrying a small smartphone into the wild world of the outdoors? The old phone style is probably cheaper.

posted by jr on Nov 16, 2010 at 12:21:16 am     #  

"Kindles will be purchased by the school system and distributed free of charge to students"

No, it's iPads for the students, beginning with Kindergartners. I learned about this last week.

Aug 5, 2010 story

Students at Unity Point School in Carbondale [Illinois] will have a little extra tech in their step this school year, as all students will be receiving either an Apple iPad or a Netbook computer for classroom use.

Unity Point School was awarded more than $650,000 through an "Enhancing Education Through Technology" grant in March, opting to purchase more than 600 iPads and computers for use this fall.

Kindergartners and first and second graders will all be given the iPads for classroom use, and third through eighth graders will each be given the new Netbook computers.

Funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the EETT grant allowed for the purchase of the equipment plus funds for professional development, a key part of implementing the new technology system.

Bea Geraci, network programmer for the school, said the iPads will be very useful in teaching younger kids lessons in anything from math and social studies to shapes and ABCs.

Tony Vincent, a professional technology-in-education trainer, [said] Unity Point was the first school he knew of in the nation that was implementing the iPad system on such a scale.

posted by jr on Nov 16, 2010 at 12:34:43 am     #  

^Fabulous.

Bea Geraci, network programmer for the school, said the iPads will be very useful in teaching younger kids lessons in anything from math and social studies to shapes and ABCs.

Uh huh. Before the IPad came along, nobody could learn anything. Thank God for Steve Jobs. He'll save us from books and blackboards, by gum...

Funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

My memory may be foggy, but I thought that money was to fix school buildings, infrastructure, and the like--"shovel ready jobs". Not buy toys made in China. Guess I must have misheard.

$650,000 for one school? In Carbondale (a college town)?

posted by oldhometown on Nov 16, 2010 at 01:26:15 am     #  

yah..University of Southern Illinois at Carbondale. My Wife went then for 3 years before moving Toledo. When I visited Carbondale it reminded a lot of Bowling Green.

posted by drunkenwildmage on Nov 16, 2010 at 10:19:18 am     #  

Interesting perspective on "throwing people away" by a Blade owner.

http://www.observer.com/node/41798

posted by Anniecski on Nov 16, 2010 at 11:04:45 am     #  

^Oh barf.

I guess e-harmony didn't accept his profile.

posted by oldhometown on Nov 16, 2010 at 11:26:23 am     #  

You know whats coming? End of paper circulation and 2 web options, 1 being free with a 1 inch by 2 inch viewable area surrounded by adds and 2 a pay through your nose sight with a 1 inch boarder of adds.

posted by Linecrosser on Nov 16, 2010 at 12:25:58 pm     #  

and I learned about this this week. Textbooks on a tablet:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2372368,00.asp

posted by nana on Nov 16, 2010 at 01:24:23 pm     #  

Talks have stalled.

15% pay cut...

http://toledoblade.com/business/2011/05/12/Blade-union-labor-talks-at-impasse-over-cuts.html

posted by 6th_Floor on May 12, 2011 at 10:49:03 am     #  

I love it that a "union paper" that spends great deals of time and money pressing for union loving candidates and uses character assassination on any Republican "union buster" is slashing pay and benes for it's union employees. Thats right you "local" paper is going to be run out of Pittsburgh.

Demonstrates the 2 faced BS of the union movement, Thank you Blade.

posted by dbw8906 on May 12, 2011 at 11:12:19 am     #  

I keep several old issues in a large bag. I was going to throw them all in the trash. Now, I'm going to reconsider, since I'm thinking about getting a couple cats.

posted by Wulf on May 12, 2011 at 01:32:08 pm     #   1 person liked this

I read the local news and then line the litter box with it.

posted by shortysmom on May 12, 2011 at 04:00:14 pm     #  

I read the local news and then line the litter box with it.

posted by shortysmom on May 12, 2011 at 04:00:47 pm     #  

Sorry...damned computer.

posted by shortysmom on May 12, 2011 at 04:01:26 pm     #  

I love it that a "union paper" that spends great deals of time and money pressing for union loving candidates and uses character assassination on any Republican "union buster" is slashing pay and benes for it's union employees.

Damn straight dbw.

BTW, anybody told the "union leadership" that print newspapers are dying?

posted by oldhometown on May 12, 2011 at 05:29:57 pm     #   1 person liked this

http://www.toledoblade.com/business/2011/07/29/Blade-unions-ratify-new-contracts.html

3% per year for 3 years along with other cuts.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jul 29, 2011 at 08:39:55 pm     #  

oldhometown,

I'm sorry that I missed your May post.

The Blade has been grappling with digital convergence like all newspapers along with other mass media, like TV, Radio, etc. However, our circulation numbers are increasing both because of new digital products that we have introduced, and new print subscribers.

Here's the evidence. Among newspapers with more than 100,000 circulation, only The Blade in Toledo, Ohio, and the Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call made the list of top 10 gainers.

Also, we have just this year released our new mobile app for iPad, iPhone and Android devices.

If you have a smart phone, I hope you get a chance to use the QR Codes to watch the videos in our newsprint product. The movie trailers are very popular.

Our fastest growing product is http://eblade.toledoblade.com AND there's much more on the way.

Frankly, I am amped!

Best regards,

Paul Hem, Jr.
Digital Products Manager
The Blade

posted by paulhem on Jul 30, 2011 at 10:55:59 am     #  

Congratulations on your subscriber increases. I know you guys work hard to compete in a crowded marketplace.

However, I'm sure you know that the majority of bills are paid because of advertisers, not what subscribers pay in fees. Online advertising revenue is a paltry percentage in comparison with print advertising revenue. Although online revenue is increasing at a good clip, it is still not fast enough to replace the loss of print revenue.

Fortunately, you have an owner who also has control of the local cable franchise which can be used to offset losses for some time. Hopefully, it's enough to sustain through this rough digital transition revolution. Many print outlets are not as lucky.

Continued good luck with all of your products.

posted by oldhometown on Jul 30, 2011 at 12:41:47 pm     #  

More thorough story here:

http://mediaguild.org/index.php?ID=11774

posted by MadAnthony on Jul 30, 2011 at 01:10:33 pm     #  

So they basically lost 2 weeks pay from losing 5 paid sick days a year and one week of paid vacation. On top of adding what the employees are going to pay for health insurance.

The other cuts should have been listed with the wage cuts in the article The Blade posted.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jul 30, 2011 at 02:30:49 pm     #   1 person liked this

Thanks OHT. We're on the right track with our advertisers, as well.

The highest advertising reach numbers in SE Michigan and NW Ohio
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VSasav4588&sns=em

We have a tough fight. It's not boring.

I am amped.

posted by paulhem on Jul 30, 2011 at 04:05:43 pm     #  

So, Paul, what flavor shoe polish does your master use today?

You and your industry are doomed. Good Riddance! Toledo will find something better.

posted by pete on Jul 30, 2011 at 08:13:57 pm     #  

Hi Paul
did you ever sort out your archives?
I had to pull a blade link off of my business website due to inactivity on your part. Any updates?

also, you said: Our fastest growing product is http://eblade.toledoblade.com AND there's much more on the way."

can you explain who is actually using this service? it's very hard to read

posted by upso on Jul 31, 2011 at 02:32:44 am     #  

very very very hard to read

posted by upso on Jul 31, 2011 at 02:38:40 am     #  

Ironic how The Blade hammers the remuneration of its rank and file, which hamstrings in-depth coverage, but finds the $$$ to send a reporter to our nation's capital (since they no longer have a Washington bureau). But this is good seeing as how the debt ceiling/budget crisis is so important. Wait, that reporter is covering some convention on the pit bull dog problem? Oh please Blade editors give us some more enlightening editorials on how we should get our priorities laid out...and yes upso the eBlade is unreadable on everything from a 27"desktop to a tablet to a smart phone...

posted by MadAnthony on Jul 31, 2011 at 12:54:11 pm     #  

Hi upso. The link you want is here.

https://www.toledoblade.com/Restaurant-Reviews/2010/07/08/Lunch-only-place-has-super-salads-and-sandwiches.html

All of the former links will not work. We had to update the links to make them easier to find - More SEO optimized. Our previous vendor couldn't do that.

The archives are continuously being updated - 24/7. We have to move them in at a certain rate, or the site starts slowing down. Most news sites (and even blogs) are huge databases. We can't import any faster.

I hope this answers your question, upso.

Regarding the eBlade. We have most colleges and university students in the area using it. Most people who use it, love it.

We didn't just put the eBlade out without extensive market research, which included focus groups. So, we weren't surprised when the product became so popular.

upso, I would be happy to work with you to help make your eBlade experience better. I am available at 419-862-5252, or paulhem[at]toledoblade.com

One of the coolest things about it, is that a story that is continued on another page can be accessed by just clicking on "continued on pagexxx" Folks love that.

Also, we just put a new feature where one can copy and paste a photo or story directly to email, or print. Very cool!

Paul

posted by paulhem on Jul 31, 2011 at 12:59:32 pm     #  

MA.

If you haven't tried the eBlade, lately, we've made changes. Just last week, we completed a lot of work to make the eBlade more compatible with the iPad.

MadAnthony. If you have an iPhone or iPad why not try our apps. they're free.

iPhone:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-blade/id382865800?mt=8

iPad:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/toledo-blade/id425218323?mt=8&ls=1

For those of you who are using an Android, here's our app:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=3&sqi=2&ved=0CDIQFjAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmarket.android.com%2Fdetails%3Fid%3Dcom.toledoblade&ei=s4s1ToPwBs7SgQfqwLn8DA&usg=AFQjCNGzND6s5Hoh94BCL22OiDVDvhzz2Q

posted by paulhem on Jul 31, 2011 at 01:07:44 pm     #  

MA,

No one else in this area covers the news more thoroughly than The Blade.

What hack attack are you referring to? I have been closely involved with the site and NEVER has there been any "hack attack" on ANY of our digital products. None of them have been compromised.

You are maliciously posting erroneous information about The Blade.

posted by paulhem on Jul 31, 2011 at 02:53:23 pm     #  

Mr. Hem,
I never said it was aimed at your digital products. According to my sources the internal network and production systems were targeted with malware.

posted by MadAnthony on Jul 31, 2011 at 03:15:47 pm     #  

Just so we're clear.

All of the Web sites and apps that The Blade's audiences are using are safe and secure.

Any comments here to the contrary are false. MadAnthony, your previous comment regarding your "being loathe" is misleading and false.

I have requested its removal.

posted by paulhem on Jul 31, 2011 at 04:27:42 pm     #  

Paul Hem is his master's voice. Here doggie!

Paul, MadAnthony can post his thoughts here! Go crawl back into your hole, Paul. Don't go throwing around claims of "maliciousness". Sounds like you're preparing a legal suit.

posted by pete on Jul 31, 2011 at 04:42:18 pm     #  

paul, few thoughts...

you said this: We didn't just put the eBlade out without extensive market research, which included focus groups. So, we weren't surprised when the product became so popular.

can you define or explain the idea of "so popular"?
Until you posted this link to the new eblade, I had never heard of it mentioned anywhere. none of my friends use it, and it's existence came as a surprise to me. can you give me some numbers on the amount of people that are actually using this new "scanned blade" edition? i noticed it says "free trial" on it right now. are you actually planning on charging for this in the future?

the http://eblade.toledoblade.com site isn't very usable IMHO.
i appreciate that it offers the option to click and read a full article, but what news website doesn't offer that? This is basically just a scan of the newspaper, will all of the ads included. Every mousepad touch makes it jerk around, and you have to wait for the entire thing to load before you can start clicking all of the links. It seems much better on our ipad, but i don't think we'll ever attempt to use it after today.

it seems like a backward direction to be going in. content for the web should be designed for the web, not just ported over like you're doing with this new edition.

as for the ipad app, it's very useable. i like that it mirrors the toledoblade.com website but is actually a little more user friendly. nice job on that.

posted by upso on Jul 31, 2011 at 05:23:55 pm     #  

Thanks upso. We're glad that you like the iPad app.

And, no I am not able to share any numbers with you, at this time.

Regarding eBlade's "so popular..." We have a "Rocket edition," BGSU, OCC, Lourdes, etc. Our focus groups demonstrated that people - regardless of age, wanted the CHOICE of an electronic version of the newspaper. Now, this doesn't mean that we will not continue to improve our position with apps. Mobile apps are definitely a high priority. So we're not headed in a single direction. Think of eBlade as a bridge for many people who just want a newspaper experience.

For example, prior to the release of the iPad1, we (NYTimes, Detroit Newspaper Group, USA Today, Cox Newspaper, and more) converged on the Reynold's Journalism Institute, Part of MIzzou's journalism school and shared our views of how we would use the iPad. That was in March of 2010. And, we aren't finished with any of it, yet. :)

I wouldn't expect that many of your friends would know about eBlade or use it. It is designed for people who want the newspaper experience. That's why we have mobile apps and our Web site. We're using CSS3 for toledoblade.com so that as we improve the design and capabilities, we can use the lastest technology.

eBlade is actually not a scanned anything. Before the newspaper is printed, it is a PDF. Those PDFs allow us to convert and use the embedded information. Having said that, the eBlade will be evolving from image-based Java to html5. Look for the ability to click on a photo and watch a video - just some things we're thinking about... I don't have the time to go through everything we have in mind.

eBlade is for those who actually want "the newspaper without the paper." It is very popular with many of our subscribers and advertisers.

Much more to come.

posted by paulhem on Jul 31, 2011 at 06:52:30 pm     #  

Here's one of our eBlade commercials that have and are continuing to air.

posted by paulhem on Jul 31, 2011 at 07:06:50 pm     #  

I must have missed something here. Paul Hem said (referring to MadAnthony's comment)"'being loathe' is misleading and false. I have requested its removal." Those are Paul Hem's words.

Did MA's comment actually get removed? I didn't see what the comment was and I didn't see the word "loathe" in MA's remarks. JR, tell me, did you actually remove MA's comment? What the heck did MA say? I hope to God you aren't censoring this stuff based on what a Toledo Blade hack says. Hem threatens to sue somebody every time the sum rises. That's what The Blade does. That's how they operate.

posted by pete on Aug 01, 2011 at 09:29:42 pm     #  

whoa. did it actually get deleted?! that's crazy

posted by upso on Aug 01, 2011 at 09:57:06 pm     #  

I agree with Pete.

Furthermore, the thread is about the recent contract agreement with the unions, not paulhem shilling the e-edition of The Blade.

PH has more or less hijacked and cluttered this thread posting about the e-edition.

posted by 6th_Floor on Aug 02, 2011 at 02:53:47 am     #  

Come on you know the Blade sticks "up for the little guy" that is until they have to pay the "little guy".

posted by dbw8906 on Aug 02, 2011 at 07:00:30 am     #  

Obviously things at The Blade are not as hunky-dory as some comments in this thread would seem to suggest.

If they were, then the union leadership at the paper would not have strongly encouraged its membership to vote in favor of this contract, which is a contract that will cut many members' real take-home pay (factoring in increased health care contributions) back to what it was almost a decade ago when all is said and done, considering there has been a wage freeze in place for several years already. So the contract is not cutting back from 2011 wages; it's cutting back from wages that have already been stagnant for quite a while.

This is obviously problematic for many hard-working Blade employees. Gas doesn't cost what it did a decade ago. Groceries don't. Paul Hem may be tap-dancing with a grin, but I'm guessing the morale within the rank-and-file isn't very good right now. A management-level person boasting on a public forum about how great things are probably wouldn't help that.

posted by jmleong on Aug 02, 2011 at 12:29:20 pm     #  

I'm not sure I want to stick-up for Paul Hem, but his first post here, that I can tell, was responding to a May link/comment from oldhometown about print newspapers dying.

Thus the e-edition comments that at least upso seemed to find worth discussing.

Pete came on here with the master/shoe polish infective. I don't think that added much of anything to the 'conversation'.

The deletion of mad anthony's comment is a different matter that's in jr's corner of the universe.

posted by McCaskey on Aug 02, 2011 at 12:38:02 pm     #  

I enjoy seeing the newspaper as it would look in the print edition.

I've not spent a lot of time browsing the Blade's e-edition, so I can't comment on whether or not its user friendly. However, for reasons I can't quite explain, I get a different "feel" when I read in newspaper format vs. web content.

I think that's part of the reason why I like to look up old information on the Google News Archives rather than digital news archives. Its interesting to see the article in its entire context.

(Of course, I could just be a dinosaur at the ripe old age of 37.) :)

posted by mom2 on Aug 02, 2011 at 12:44:38 pm     #  

jmleong: Cite where I was "boasting on a public forum about how great things are..."

I can see where I said, "We have a tough fight."

I was simply explaining the weapons The Blade has to continue the fight. And it's all of The Blade employees, together, who are in this battle.

posted by paulhem on Aug 02, 2011 at 03:11:09 pm     #  

OHT, here's another story to consider.

Among Affluent Americans, Print Media Is Tops
Death of Traditional Outlets Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

Here's an excerpt.

"...there is also no denying that traditional outlets are thriving in the lives of consumers today, and that they form the core of how most consumers interact with media. This is true for the general population, and it is even true among the affluent Americans that we study, even though they have the discretionary income to indulge in an array of devices, as well as the digital literacy to get the most out of them."

"Throughout 2011, we have used our Mendelsohn Affluent Barometer to track new and traditional media use among American Affluents. This monthly survey consists of more than 1,000 online interviews with respondents making at least $100,000 in annual household income -- in other words, the 20% of Americans who account for about 60% of U.S. income and approximately 70% of U.S. net worth. The survey was conducted between March and May 2011."

"When asked how they read magazines, 93% said they read hard-copy print versions; in contrast, less than a third read them on computers, and no other format garnered more than 10%. The same pattern is evident for newspapers, which 86% read in print, compared to the 39% who read them on computers, and 14% who read them via smartphone."

posted by paulhem on Aug 02, 2011 at 03:26:00 pm     #  

that's interesting. in comparison, how many people are reading the printed edition of the blade now vs. say... 10 or even 5 years ago?

posted by upso on Aug 02, 2011 at 04:33:51 pm     #  

upso,

Obviously, the subscriptions have been declining. Remember, we aren't the only newspaper (or news outlet, for that matter), looking for a new business model.

At this point, we're following our audience to wherever they are - virtually or physically.

posted by paulhem on Aug 02, 2011 at 05:19:07 pm     #  

The "Among Affluent.." story is from Adage.com - a publication that caters to companies who want to know where to spend their advertising dollars.

So, the point was that - surprise - traditional media is the best bang per advertising buck.

posted by paulhem on Aug 02, 2011 at 05:26:55 pm     #  

"Obviously, the subscriptions have been declining. Remember, we aren't the only newspaper (or news outlet, for that matter), looking for a new business model."

Things went from bad to worse when the newspapers started giving away their content for free. I can't understand why that happened. It's like the industry suddenly decided that their employees' work didn't have any value.

posted by renegade on Aug 02, 2011 at 06:26:52 pm     #  

renegade:

A agree! I can't figure that out either. NYTimes is trying out some type of pay model. But, it's easy to get around it and read for free.

We'll see... It looks like the advertising model is still the way it works, for the time being.

posted by paulhem on Aug 02, 2011 at 06:31:49 pm     #  

I've been reading the E-Blade almost since it started, and actually prefer it to reading the regular newspaper. However I dislike the fact that they don't scan in Thursdays peach section, I know you can pick it up free, but I'm never anywhere they have them. I find the e-blade quite similar to a number of online magazines and other news papers (more readable than the e- city paper), and it is really a simple way of using the same formatted material in two forms with little cost to the blade. And no I don't work for the blade, nor do I personally know anyone who works for the blade, and I canceled my paid subscription 8-10 years ago, and dropped buckeye at home about 8 years ago (although they do the internet and phone for my business).

posted by roygbiv on Aug 02, 2011 at 10:35:37 pm     #  

Renegade- it wasn't that news outlets wanted to give away their content for free, it was that there were free outlets (with paid advertising, with cheap local writers/ bloggers who were giving there content away for free), news media had to dive in. Its like the music business until apple found away to make money and get people to pay for music, everyone thought the Napster's of the world would destroy the music business, it didn't it just changed it, (although many people still steal their music). News media are in the same situation now, they need to find a model where people will pay for news content, or where the content generates enough revenue to pay for quality journalism. The change here may be the loss of the big media empire to lots of smaller blog like news outlets, possibly joined by an "apple" type company that sells subscriptions to access a large variety of these small news outlets.

posted by roygbiv on Aug 02, 2011 at 10:46:15 pm     #  

roygbiv : to see the Peach Weekender on Thursday's eBlade, just hit your "s" key on your keyboard and scroll down. It's there. So is Parade Magazine Sunday.

Additionally, hit your "e" key and you have 30 days of past editions to choose from.

Alternately, if you hit either of those keys again, then the section or edition parts go away.

Here's the more complete FAQ. It needs to be updated to reflect that we now have it working on the iDevices.

posted by paulhem on Aug 02, 2011 at 11:15:07 pm     #  

"jmleong: Cite where I was "boasting on a public forum about how great things are..." - PH

*

OK, sure, I'll play.

Quote: "We didn't just put the eBlade out without extensive market research, which included focus groups. So, we weren't surprised when the product became so popular."

Quote: "eBlade is for those who actually want "the newspaper without the paper." It is very popular with many of our subscribers and advertisers."

Quote: We're on the right track with our advertisers, as well. The highest advertising reach numbers in SE Michigan and NW Ohio
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VSasav4588&sns=em "

Shall I go on?

posted by jmleong on Aug 02, 2011 at 11:23:48 pm     #  

jmleong: And you interpret THAT as "boasting on a public forum about how great things are...?"

You're obviously a troll.

C-ya

posted by paulhem on Aug 02, 2011 at 11:32:44 pm     #  

It IS boasting that the products are great - I'll give you that. I don'teven know the financial information, But one thing is certain.

Neither The Blad nor any other business can succeed with curmudgeon, naysayers like jmleong.

posted by paulhem on Aug 02, 2011 at 11:40:34 pm     #  

" Neither The Blad nor any other business can succeed with curmudgeon, naysayers like jmleong. "

JRB would appreciate you spelling the name of "One of America's Great Newspapers" properly...just sayin'...
especially since your last foursquare check in:

PaulatTheBlade Paul at The Blade
I'm at Holiday Inn - Pittsburgh University Center (100 Lytton Ave., Pittsburgh) http://4sq.com/pwSm7B

Oakland the neighborhood where the Toledo Blade publisher resides..oops

posted by MadAnthony on Aug 03, 2011 at 12:40:30 am     #  

Interesting...

There's no "oops."

I don't have anything to hide. Otherwise, I wouldn't have checked in.

I'm flattered that you find me so interesting. 

posted by paulhem on Aug 03, 2011 at 06:19:30 am     #  

For anyone else interested. Here's my LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulhem

posted by paulhem on Aug 03, 2011 at 06:34:39 am     #  

Thanks Paul, I look forward to reading the e-blades peach section tomorrow.

posted by roygbiv on Aug 03, 2011 at 07:59:48 am     #  

Roy,

You're welcome. If you go to http://eblade.toledoblade.com now, you'll see Peachweekender once you click the "s" key and scroll down. We have all of our neighbors section there, too.

I'll be happy to assist anyone else with our products who asks.

Best regards,

Paul

posted by paulhem on Aug 03, 2011 at 08:11:55 am     #  

Well, not the Peachweekender until tomorrow like you wrote. However, the Peach Section is there.

Have great day.

posted by paulhem on Aug 03, 2011 at 08:15:29 am     #  

JR, I have a kindle and I love it. If you like to read and do it often I highly recommend it. I don't read the blade anymore so I didn't know it wasn't offered. I have a subscription to the USA Today and several blogs plus I've got about 50 books on there and 1 magazine.

Now I can still read the Bland and Toledo Free Press online with the browser on my kindle but its browser is slow and not the best. If you use the browser as an added function you'll be happy.

Those who use internet more and want to read ebooks as a side function would like the iPad better. Just know you shouldn't expect to sit out by the pool and read like you would with a kindle or nook.

To answer one thing from OldSouthEndBrdy "You drop a book in a puddle and you can dry it off. Drop a Kindle in water and Amazon will gladly sell you another. Can't wait for the schools to require Kindles for the young,fumble-fingered scholars."

Actually if you drop your kindle in a puddle during your first year of ownership you mail it in and they replace it free of charge. A coworker dropped and shattered his kindle screen, 3 weeks later he had a new one. Plus you can share your ebooks to your computer, smartphone, by downloading an ap and it can be stored on an online account.

Forget your book at home? You must buy a new one at the airport. Forget your kindle at home and you can read the same book on your laptop/iphone.

Another thing I did with my kindle is I let 2 family members get a book from me on the 4th of July. With a book they'd have to take turns and chances of me seeing that book again are slim.

Paul while I hate the Bland I do like you and you've inspired me to look at a Block publication for the first time in 2 years. I will check out the ePeach Section because of you.

posted by MikeyA on Aug 03, 2011 at 11:38:41 am     #  

MikeyA,

You know that I like and respect you, too.

Thanks for checking it out!

Paul

posted by paulhem on Aug 03, 2011 at 12:12:14 pm     #  

Keep up the good work my friend.

posted by MikeyA on Aug 04, 2011 at 06:05:34 pm     #  

MikeyA, just out of curiosity, what appeals to you about USA Today? I only read it when I have to (stuck at motels, etc.) and I've never been able to warm up to it. I can't quite put my finger on why I dislike it, though. Maybe it's different online than in print. Thanks

posted by viola on Aug 04, 2011 at 06:13:49 pm     #  

Well Viola I do like how the majority of the stories are much more limited than I've seen in other papers. Only the main stories go beyond one page and I find other papers are too wordy.

However, the USA Today is very interesting because when it was designed it was designed to mimic television. The colors, the formatting, the headlines. They're all a copy of network television. Look at their stand next time. You'll see it looks like an old television set.

Surprisingly on the kindle it reads like many of the blogs I read. They break the stories up into categories. The NY Times also breaks well into the kindle. I haven't bought that one yet. I will admit I've been tempted to but it's never been a paper I read daily or weekly.

posted by MikeyA on Aug 04, 2011 at 10:42:25 pm     #  

the NY Times is the only paper i read daily. It's coverage is absolutely amazing

posted by upso on Aug 04, 2011 at 11:13:42 pm     #  

Both the USA Today and the NY Times look and read great on my iPad.

posted by SensorG on Aug 05, 2011 at 08:27:53 am     #  

Thanks for the review Sensor. I may get it now. I was scared of buyers remorse because I purchased a subscription to HuffingtonPost when they merged with pollster.com but they don't offer any pollster.com content via the kindle. Thank God I cancelled during the trial period.

posted by MikeyA on Aug 05, 2011 at 10:39:05 am     #  

I’m curious about having to buy a subscription to USA Today or Huffington Post on the Kindle. They are both free on my iPad. I don’t care for the Huffington or Slate apps on the iPad as much as I like their web sites, where I prefer to read the NYT or USAToday on my iPad.

posted by SensorG on Aug 05, 2011 at 11:29:21 am     #  

You can use the browser to read any of them but the kindle browser is not intended for primary use.

By buying a subscription you get it automatically updated when your kindle is on. For newspapers I've seen it anywhere from $1.99 to 6.99 a month. For blogs it's normally just $.99 flat rate.

The kindle doesn't run the same apps as the ipad. It's a limitation of the screen which isn't like a computer screen it burns the image onto the screen which saves on battery life and mimics a page from a book which is why you can read it in all lights unlike a computer screen.

HuffPo does a good job with the stories but I like to go on and see the most recent polls. They don't update those or the comments on them through their subscription.

posted by MikeyA on Aug 05, 2011 at 02:37:20 pm     #  

"jmleong: And you interpret THAT as "boasting on a public forum about how great things are...?

You're obviously a troll.

C-ya" - PH

*

Yes, I do.

And no, I'm not.

I invite you to click on my username and view the comments I've made on Toledo Talk on a variety of topics over the past few years. As a representative of the news media, you should know better than to characterize someone without doing your research.

And I should've just let that go, but I don't appreciate being called names. Perhaps I should request the removal of the post in which you did that?

posted by jmleong on Aug 07, 2011 at 09:49:22 pm     #  

Seems fair! :)

posted by upso on Aug 07, 2011 at 09:55:05 pm     #  

jmleong:

You don't identify yourself beyond a nickname on this board. So, how am I characterizing "someone."

If you use your real name, then perhaps we would have something to discuss.

Next time you wish to mischaracterize my comments, then do so by first telling us who you are and who you work for, like I did when I contributed.

posted by paulhem on Aug 07, 2011 at 10:38:32 pm     #