How The Sacramento Bee resembles Omaha Steaks

I know a widower who occasionally buys meat from Omaha Steaks. Now that they have him on their radar screen, Glenn is constantly bombarded with online ads and emails urging him to buy more.

I chuckled when he first told me the story, and said to myself that will never happen to me. Then The Sacramento Bee hired a new editor.

Lauren Gustus, who apparently worked for the current publisher in Texas, was brought on board in January. She has a reputation for being a whiz at using social media to sell dead-tree media.

I didn’t notice any changes until about two weeks ago, when I started receiving a constant bombardment of emails from The Bee: Breaking news, newspaper promotions, and other miscellany.

Instead of just deleting them, I decided to let them pile up for 24 hours to get a sense of how many there really are. From 10 a.m. Friday until 10 a.m. this morning, I received 18 messages in addition to the online edition of the paper.

But thanks to two handy-dandy emails I get every day, I don’t even have to bother reading the paper. First, I received an Afternoon Update at 4:10 p.m. Friday providing me with links to 12 stories that appeared in Saturday’s edition. Their deadlines must be a lot earlier than I thought they were.

Then I got a Morning News update–admittedly at 4:05 a.m., while I was asleep–that gave me another rundown on the articles in today’s paper. Other than gushin’ Joe Davidson’s breathless dispatches about the high school basketball championships, I had everything I needed. Why read the paper?

I can’t speak for anybody else, but I don’t need constant news update during the day. Unless there’s a wild-fire threatening Lake of the Pines, I’m content to wait for the news.

And I certainly don’t need special offers and exclusive promotions because–lucky fellow that I am–I’m a subscriber to the paper. If this keeps up, I may dump my subscription and sign up for the San Francisco Chronicle.

I can subscribe to the Chron for just 12 percent of the regular price! They’re practically giving it away!

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