Seattle Times Company Describes "Significant" Subscriber Backlash to Its Political Ad Buys, Won't Be Doing That Again


Maybe if they encouraged some of their conservative columnists to self-deport and actually represented Seattle, they might get back some of those subscribers.

Until then The Stranger and The Weekly will be the only Seattle newspapers.
I'm more urban than you are...nah-na-nah-na-na-nah!

I just had a personal pizza made with "ancient grains" at the new Naked Pizza. And guess what...they're all personal...11" inches is all you can buy! How urban is that! Oh yea and the soda fountain...BoyLan cane sugar...zzzingo, sukkars.

Inside designed to look like an old mill, but done with modern materials. Exposed bulbs hanging from the CF bulbs!

Kent more urban than Seattle. Kiss my grits.
Anybody get fired over this? Head of advertising? The Publisher?
Is there any way to get their subscription numbers over time unless they willingly release them?
And they showed that political advertising in their paper doesn't work.
My parents canceled their subscription (well, switched from daily to Sunday only because my dad couldn't give that up). Sea Times offered, twice, to switch my parents to the "protest hold" instead, but my mom kept saying no. Now, Seattle Times has called THREE separate times to offer my parents FREE daily delivery for the next few months. My mom continues to say No. When you tell the phone caller you don't want free daily papers and explain why, they ask if you just want free Thus, Fri, Sat delivery. She continues to tell them No, that this Ad Buy ruined their credentials as journalists, and she does not want their product.

I'm sure my folks can't be the only folks. And with the holiday sales ads coming up, the significant drop in distribution has to be having real world consequences on what they can charge advertisers. Why else be so aggressive trying to give out free papers? They want to keep those numbers up, so Macy's will pay more for their holidays ads. I hope other canceled subscribers are also refusing the multiple offers for free papers.
No one could have predicted....

The best intelligence we had....

Where have I heard this before? I'm surprised they didn't try and pin the blame on 'those dirty liberals.'
All daily newspapers have their circulation audited annually. I'm not sure if it's B/c they publish legals, but I believe the circulations are public. Smaller papers that publish weeklies have to print their circulation in a legal the first week of October every year.
When you drift so far away from Seattle citizens beliefs, don't be surprised when they cease to be interested in buying your fishwrapping.

Mmm, economics, it's what's for dinner.
Thanks @8. But as I recall that's broken down into paid circ, comp circ, free circ numbers.

Is it broken into single issue circ, paid subscriber circ too?

(yes, I've been involved in newspapers since before most of you were born, we used newsprint rolls to color on as kids)
I think in part that R-74 supporters would be so pleased they would overlook the McKenna ads and vice versa. Instead, the Democrats were pissed about the McKenna ads and the Republicans were pissed about the R-74 ads. And others were just pissed about the breakdown of the walls between the business, editorial, and news sides of the paper.
They already fell off the top 25 list between March and September 2012. Not sure where to find the actual numbers now.…
Will in Seattle, just the Weekly and Stranger? That's it for you? Heady, insightful reading indeed. I can see why most commenters bow to your wisdom.
This was a pilot program ... like putting a chimp in orbit with no re-entry capability.
As much as I'm with you on this, your use of the word "significant" in your headline does not match its usage in the quote. Significant in the quote applies to the # of subscribers who opted for the protest stop, not the number of subscribers who contacted them. As much as I wish the latter to be true, an accurate parsing of the quote does not support the assertion in the headline.

Check my other posts on the topic: I'm quite opposed to the Times doing this and voted by cancelling my subscription last month. Eli, you're a terrific journalist, but on this one, you need to restate the headline to better reflect the actual quote.
@15: The headline says "'Significant' Subscriber Backlash."

The quote that's being referenced speaks of a "significant" number of protest cancellations, and I consider protest cancellations to represent subscriber backlash. Don't you?
Besides, these days any loss of subscribers is significant.
@13 the other ones, like Seattle Met and Crosscut are not in print, and thus do not count.

Must. Kill. More. Trees.

Goibhne has spoken, so shall it be.
@18 since when was Seattle Met "not in print"?

"Seattle Met is available at more than 900 newsstands, specialty grocery stores, and local retailers throughout metropolitan Seattle..."
I never would subscribe. They should reconsider renaming themselves the "The Suburban Times." Their editorials, hell their news articles, are written from the perspective of a Seattle suburbanite, those people that tell others that they are from Seattle when they travel. The only time Larry, Chuck, and Uncle Buck come to Seattle from Enumhick and Scarysville are to shop downtown before xmas. Yes @2, you.
Another Alan Fiasco!
Remember Sandy Nelson, taken off her beat at the Tacoma News Tribune and demoted to a desk job - because of her activism for gay rights? When I heard about the Seattle Times promoting McKenna in its own newspaper, I remembered the Sandy Nelson case. So a reporter is punished for doing politics on her own time but its OK for employers of reporters? Then I found this, one standard for the Times owners, another for the workers:

"At The Seattle Times, a contract with the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild forbids staffers from engaging in outside activity that would be "embarrassing" to the publisher. And an ethics code - which Times management tried to put in place unilaterally in the '70s - prohibits reporters from being involved in issues and events that they cover."