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Hussman feels the pinch in Chattanooga

Posted by Max Brantley on Mon, Feb 4, 2013 at 10:11 AM

WALTER HUSSMAN: His newspaper to rely 'more heavily on readers and subscribers.'
  • WALTER HUSSMAN: His newspaper to rely 'more heavily on readers and subscribers.'

WALTER HUSSMAN: His newspaper to rely more heavily on readers and subscribers.
  • WALTER HUSSMAN: His newspaper to rely more heavily on readers and subscribers.
jimromensko.com pointed me to an article about the Chattanooga daily newspaper, whose publisher Walter Hussman, also publisher of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has sent a letter to readers that subscription costs are going up because of declining advertising revenue. From thechattanoogan.com, an independent website:

He said that circulation at the newspaper has increased in recent years, though many other newspapers had heavy circulation losses.

Mr. Hussman, who heads the WEHCO publishing chain based in Little Rock, Ark., said newspapers for many years thrived on advertising revenues that provided 80 percent of funds. He said there now are many advertising options and that some of the major advertisers have gone away.

He said due to the major changes in the newspaper business, including challenges from TV, radio, Internet news outlets and other competitors, "we have seen our profits dwindle to unsustainable levels."

Mr. Hussman said, "If you as our readers will support this change, we can continue to have a newspaper that all Chattanooga can be proud of as one of the best in America."

In keeping with practice in Little Rock, the letter distributed in Chattanooga didn't specify circulation costs or increases. As noted here before, the Democrat-Gazette has a wide range of subscription prices and they are subject to negotiation. A subscriber who got notice of a subscription price increase of roughly 50 percent in Little Rock, to $273 a year, reports that he called to cancel the subscription in January and was then renewed at last year's rate. The Chattanooga newspaper website puts daily-Sunday home delivery there at $251.88 a year.

NOTED: Hussman has written a similar letter to Democrat-Gazette readers. It appeared in ad form in last weekend's Northwest Arkansas edition.

Comments (16)

Showing 1-16 of 16

I too received a renewal notice in November with an almost 50% increase in rate. However, the paper kept coming long after the expiration date of my subscription. When they called to ask about my renewal, they offered to continue it at the old rate. I didn't even have to ask.

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Posted by fiveoclocksomewhere on 02/04/2013 at 10:44 AM

Mr. Hussman does NOT look like Gollum with glasses, so stop saying that!

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Posted by terry b on 02/04/2013 at 10:45 AM

After 50 years of reading the Gazette, the Demcrat and the Democrat/Gazette I finally dumped them last year.

It wasn't cost by any means, it was the advocating the destruction of the public school system in America and the trying to continue the 150 years plus of Arkansas and the South losing the Civil War. No "Boy Martyr" screed for me this year.

I strongly regret not contributing and supporting the small bit of investigative journalism such as uncovering the cesspool that was Lu Hardin and still is UCA. I regret no longer aiding the Championing of The Freedom of Information Act.

But in my oppinion vouchers and unregulated charters will kill off the public education system with which we train our future citizens and voters.

Recent results iindicate to me we need smarter voters. Ignorance is painful and deffinately does leave a mark.

Also the statewide paper could be a driving force in aiming Arkansas to look to the future and progress as opposed to being an annual reinforcement of backwoods backwards peckerheads and their rebel flag flying anchor dragging to a halt any progress in the region.

I am forced to hope other avenues open to support to root out corruption and unconstitutional oppression and graft such as the Ark Times.

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Posted by Citizen1 on 02/04/2013 at 10:58 AM

Good breakdown Citizen but what about their sports coverage? How will you live without it?

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Posted by eLwood on 02/04/2013 at 11:00 AM

After seeing the announcement of Hussman's new online advertising business unit, I decide to have a look at the Dem-Gaz HTTP cookies. Hussman is storing Claritas lifestyle cluster codes in the "adgmetrics" cookie - in the clear - on your computer - when you visit ArkansasOnline.com -

id=[redacted]
user_id=[redacted]
row_id=[redacted]
city=[redacted]
state=AR
zip=[redacted]
zip_plus_4=[redacted]
area_code=501
sex=M
birth_year_range=[redacted]
publication=adg
status=[redacted]
msas=[redacted]
dma=[redacted]
home_owner_renter_code=[redacted]
household_type_code=[redacted]
marital_status=[redacted]
narrow_band_household_income_identifier=[redacted]
household_age_code=[redacted]
number_of_children_in_household=[redacted]
prizm_hh=[redacted]
claritas_exact_match=[redacted]
claritas_matching_ids=[redacted]
zone=[redacted]
version=[redacted]

ArkansasTimes.com has cookies for web metrics too, but they are encoded, not plainly visible.

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Posted by radical centrist on 02/04/2013 at 11:04 AM

Elwood,

Part of my dumping of Dem/Gaz was also a scaling back of memberships in clubs, boards, societies ect.

I was becoming more and more perplexed as Americans allowed or civil society to devolve.

I found that I cared too much and it was not selfish to just let things go. The infintesimal effect I had on events did not justify the drag to my attitude, and affect to my life enjoymment.

When asked I gave oppinions backed by actual facts but found I was seldom asked.

So I quit worrying about stuff.

Now I awake in the morning and see the sun rise and enjoy my coffee. Then I head to the office through the park and view deer, coons, hawks, runners, bikers and dog walkers.

3 days a week I flee the city and watch deer, turkey, crows, wood peckers, cyotes, eagles, hawks, vulchers, chipmonks, turtles, lizards and fox.

But what has suffered is my sports.

The Super Bowl was the only complete nonhogs game I saw this year. Hogs games are great on the radio.

But that has been a small price to pay for not starting my day irritated.

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Posted by Citizen1 on 02/04/2013 at 12:01 PM

terry b,

People often confuse him with Charles Montgomery Burns.

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Posted by Doc on 02/04/2013 at 12:08 PM

eLwood, Hussman's Republocrat ought to be paying us $273/year to endure Wally Hall's screeds!

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Posted by Sound Policy on 02/04/2013 at 12:19 PM

Well, I backed out when they wanted to charge NWA online subscribers the local fee PLUS full price for the L.R. edition of ADG.

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Posted by eLwood on 02/04/2013 at 1:14 PM

Yes, when I called to cancel, the lady I spoke with was very nice and cancelled the subscription. Later in the week I received a call from the Gazette offering to deliver the paper at the old rate. I explained that since the paper had declined to almost the size of the Paragould Daily Press and that most of what was there was readily available from other sources, it just didn't seem an efficient use of my resources. Isn't there something about quality products versus those that just want to hang on and make excuses for their own demise as a paper. It's very frustrating to read that paper while remembering the old Gazette.

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Posted by mrprincipal07 on 02/04/2013 at 1:20 PM

I buy the paper on week-ends to get the puzzles (crossword). Is there any way I can get the puzzles that are in the D/G for free? The sunday ones especially.

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Posted by Dobert on 02/04/2013 at 1:53 PM

Even the coupons seem to have gone downhill.

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Posted by Vanessa on 02/04/2013 at 2:04 PM

Dobert, there are online sources of crossword puzzles, Sudoku, etc. Or you could buy a crossword puzzle book at your local newspaper stand with hundreds of puzzles for the price of a few papers.

Reading Hussman's Republocrat is like trying to avoid stepping in a cow pattie in a field covered with them.

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Posted by Sound Policy on 02/04/2013 at 2:59 PM

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find…

Newspaper Crosswords
http://puzzles.about.com/od/newspaperusa/N…
Crosswords Around the World
http://puzzles.about.com/od/newspaperintl/…
Crosswords/Games
http://www.headlinespot.com/fun/crossword/



“The brain is no stronger than its weakest think.”
Evan Esar

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Posted by Zatharus on 02/04/2013 at 3:18 PM

I have often said that even a bad newspaper is better than no newspaper at all. That is what I think about the Hussman papers. Sometimes they do a great job. I have never seen better reporting than that of Debra-Hale Shelton on the UCA shennigans. Just because I believe that they have a Neanderthal editor of their editorial page, I am not going to condemn the entire newspaper. If newspapers cease to exist, as current trends seem to indicate they will at some future date, I think that society will be much worse off without them. Since so much advertising has been diverted to Internet media, newspapers have to increase subscription prices. I still think what I pay for the Democrat-Gazette is worth it, and this is from a critic of the newspaper.

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Posted by plainjim on 02/04/2013 at 8:16 PM

Now if only the Arkansas Times could go to daily (or even thrice-weekly) and distribute in Fayetteville...

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Posted by GrizLee Bear on 02/05/2013 at 11:39 AM
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