October 2010
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The Journal Star has one less subscriber

I canceled my subscription to the Peoria Journal Star today.

It wasn’t an easy decision, although it should have been. I guess I’m just a sentimental sort of guy. My grandfather worked at the Journal Star until he retired in 1974. I grew up in a household where my dad read the paper every day and was always well-informed of what was happening in the City. When I got to be a teenager, I started reading the paper a little myself. Then in adulthood I started reading it every day.

So why did I cancel? Two reasons. The biggest one will come as no surprise since I’ve complained about it many times before on this blog: The content is available for free online. This is the reason I should have canceled a long time ago. What a waste of money to pay the Journal Star $200+ a year for content that anyone can get on the Internet for nothing. It’s their prerogative if they want to take their hard work and give it away, but I’m not going to continue to subsidize everyone else’s access to it. If they ever decide to add value to buying a subscription, I’ll consider resubscribing.

Second reason: As if to add insult to injury, they’ve continued to raise the price while shrinking the size of the paper. First they gutted most of the sections (many of which were reduced to only four pages); now they’re converting the paper to a smaller format this month. Pretty soon it will be too small to wrap fish with, and then what good will it be?

Of course I’ll miss all their exciting “first in print” content — like articles on deer mating, do-it-yourself dialysis, and Disney-on-Ice ticket giveaways. I’m not sure how I’ll survive.

I was surprised at how easy it was to cancel. When I canceled my cable TV, the Comcast customer service rep asked me why and if there was anything she could do to keep me as a subscriber. She was insincere, of course, but at least she asked. The Journal Star didn’t even do that. They apparently have no interest in keeping me as a subscriber. So be it.

20 comments to The Journal Star has one less subscriber

  • what about

    comics and coupons? Also comes in handy cleaning windows.

  • Fess 'up

    Are you sure it didn’t have anything to do with the editorial earlier this week? 😉

  • David P. Jordan

    The Peoria Chronicle has been for several years the Peoria area’s main source for relevant news anyway 🙂

  • No, it had nothing to do with Sunday’s editorial. If my subscription were predicated on my agreement with the Journal Star Editorial Board, I would have canceled it about 20 years ago. 😀

  • Glenn Berkshier

    Traditional media is dead. I no longer subscribe to any magazines, newspapers, cable or dish. I no longer have a land line. I haven’t purchased a music CD or movie DVD in years. I have been without all of these amenities, and now rely strictly on the Internet for my communications and content, with the exception of my cell phone (which I subsidize with Skype and Google Voice). They are all irrelevant, in my opinion.

  • Mahkno

    Just wait… they will be calling you every other day, even two or three times a day, trying to get you to resubscribe.

    Oh and GHSE is trading at 11¢ a share.

  • Frustrated

    While I can live without the “First in Print,” they also restrict access to high school sporting results online and that is “frustrating.”

  • I think you may have insulted good, fresh fish everywhere……

  • New Voice

    Fess up,

    I will freely admit I canceled my J Star subscription because of Sunday “Our View!” As a matter of fact, I called in several times…just to make sure they got the point.


  • Disgusted also

    Frustrated…I feel your pain. However, the sports section of the PJS in print kinda stinks too. Unfortunately I have to subscribe if I want any coverage of local sports scores. I can’t believe how little space is devoted to local HS teams…half a page maybe? (and football gets ALL the coverage.) A few weeks ago there was a HUGE cross country meet at Detweiller with top ten state ranked teams participating and there was absolutely NO coverage of it by the PJS except a list of top ten finishers 2 days after the fact.

  • District 150 Observer

    Yeah, the pjstar has basically reduced their sports reporting staff to nothing. The entire paper is a shell of what it once was.

  • Ben

    As a person with kidney failure, I actually wanted to read the “do it yourself dialysis” article, but was too cheap to pay $1.00 for that one article.

  • District 150 Observer

    Don’t the “first in print” articles go public (free) after a period of time?

  • Karen

    Good luck with your cancellation – we cancelled ours a while ago, and after we did so we still recieved the paper for a few weeks, and then they sent us a bill! So we had to call and fight with them to get the charges dropped. Then after that was settled, they would call us all the time trying to get us to resubscribe. We tried to be nice to the phone rep and just say ‘no please stop calling us’, but they never listened. So finally one day I let the phone rep have it, and that FINALLY made the phone calls stop.

  • D Money

    They had tried to charge me for papers sent after my cancellation date. They wanted to dispute my email that said ‘please cancel my subscription and allow no further withdrawals from my cancellation date of xx/xx/2010.” It was not until I read my email to their billing dept and offered to forward it to them (along with their acknowledgment email) that they dropped the issue.

    I miss the ads on Sundays, and having something to start my fireplace with, but other than that, no regrets.

    But yes, when I first moved here 10 years ago, I really enjoyed the paper and the local flavor of it. When they started charging more and supplying less local work and more and more AP work who’s news broke 24hrs ago….it was time to let go.

  • Here is how they survive: Stop printing it. Charge to read it online. Include the comics on the Website.

  • […] blogger and potential Peoria City Council candidate C.J. Summers  has decided to cancel his subscription to the Journal Star. Among the reasons: What a waste of money to pay the Journal Star $200+ a year for content that […]

  • Mahkno

    Yes, D Money, the PJ Star tried to bill me after I didn’t renew too. They also explicitly threatened my credit rating over the phone. These business practices are not legal. After a terse and clear letter, they dropped it.

  • Bourgoise Pig

    The newspapers have been publishing worthless “game show style” trivia articles for decades. Congratulations on canceling your subscription.

    But, but……you have cancelled cable too? In this economy, how can anyone afford $70-$100 a month just to watch TV? Are there any articles online that address this issue? I too, do not have cable nor dish. All I need is a reliable internet connection, and a few niche’ music cds and DVDs.