The JS is bleeding, which its top management finally acknowledged with its buyout offer for employees with seniority.
It will be interesting, when all the pink slips are counted, what the already bloated editor-to-reporter ratio will be. That paper is so top-heavy, it's a wonder that it didn't tip over long ago.
On the whole, though, it's bad news that a locally-owned newspaper is scaling back. There is so much beyond the paper's control -- changing demographics, the Internet, the Internet and the Internet.
Unfortunately, the paper did not take command of those things it could control, including customer service. Why would a representative of a newspaper tell a subscriber who called to report that he didn't get a newspaper that the paper would be "re-delivered," immediately suggesting that the subscriber is lying about the non-delivery? Yet the "re-delivery" language is standard in the JS lexicon.
And here's a story that, while totally insignificant in itself, says so much about the JS unerring aim when cutting off its own circulation: my sister dropped her subscription because she wanted the newspaper Monday through Friday and the JS insisted on delivering on the weekend, while refusing to give her the newspaper on most weekdays. She called so often she actually got on a first-name basis with one of the circulation folks Downtown, but nothing worked. She finally dropped her subscription.
A month or so ago, the JS called her. Please, the representative said, please, please let us prove we have fixed our circulation problems. Please, please, please let us give you two full weeks of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel absolutely free!
How could she turn that down? She ageed.
And delivery was perfect.
On each of the four days she got the newspaper at all.