We left the San Francisco Chronicle behind when we moved to Nevada County in 2000, mainly because the paper they delivered was the sheep herder edition–distributed to the farthest reaches of their circulation area.
Because the paper went to press so early, the news section consisted of wire service feature stories and warmed over news from yesterday’s final edition. Even worse, the sports section didn’t include last night’s scores or game stories.
We’ve been subscribers to the Sacramento Bee since then, but a series of staff cutbacks and consolidations has meant a smaller and less timely paper. This is particularly evident in the sports section of the edition we get, which carries just the scores of games played in the East. Monday’s national championship game between Alabama and Clemson was a good example: The game ended about 9:30 p.m. our time, but the edition of the Bee we got just carried a feature story about how much money the two football programs generate.
Today’s edition of The Union had a picture and game story. What makes this worth mentioning is that The Bee prints The Union in Sacramento, then puts it on truck for delivery to Grass Valley. You would think The Bee’s theoretically later deadlines would give them time to get the scores in my edition.
Apparently not. I’m guessing my edition goes to press early so they can clear the decks to print The Union, which I presume is done at a profit. But that’s how newspapers operate these days: Lower quality at a higher price.
The Bee sends me a steady stream of annoying emails, trying to become my buddy. You want to keep me happy? Give me a better newspaper.