The Ann Arbor News (in Ann Arbor, MI of course) recently announced it’s closure. After 174 years, the Ann Arbor News could not see a way out of economic difficulties and will be relaunching as an online media company — AnnArbor.com. But this post isn’t about the closure… for information on that check out:
This post is on why I do not grieve the Ann Arbor News closure.
To be in business for 174 years is truly an amazing feat, and congratulations is due. Of course, the business became part of Mlive.com and was more of a conglomerate lately than a truly local paper.
This weekend, Yeni and I went to Meijer’s (the local supermarket) twice (long story). Both times we entered Meijer’s, we were greeted by two salesmen in a booth selling subscriptions to the Ann Arbor News. The approach was that one individual would stand in the entrance way and ask you to talk with him. When you said “No, thank you.” (like I did) he continued his pitch, and his style was effective — many elderly people were signing up for new subscriptions.
Businesses can and will fail. It’s the nature of, well, it’s the nature of business. Surely we can feel sadness for the persons who will lose their jobs and we can also feel sadness for the closure of a local institution, but to me, I feel more of a loss for the new subscribers I saw this weekend.
Traditionally, the elderly do not get their news online. I feel that selling subscriptions “hard” over the weekend for a business announcing it’s closure on Monday is in poor taste. And sadly, sometimes the last taste in your mouth is how you remember the meal.
I asked The Ann Arbor News what would happen to these new subscribers. They said:
“You’ll keep getting the paper as you do through July. We’re still working out what happens after that. You won’t lose what you paid though.”
To me, if they want my support, they’ll issue immediate refunds to anyone that bought a subscription this month. Full and immediate refund.
But, as Dennis Miller would say… That’s just my opinion.