LA VALLEUR COMMUNICATES: Musings By Barbara La Valleur — Newspapers, Print Edition: The End Of An Era

Seriously, I didn’t think it would ever come to this, although in the past few months it seems like the writing has been on the proverbial wall.

Over the past two years, I’ve gone back and forth, back and forth, looking at the irritations and aggravations that I have experienced in the dozens of times we have either had no paper or a very late paper and the time spent calling about it.

We wake fairly earlier in the morning, often 6 a.m. or even earlier. I have enjoyed reading the Star Tribune on a daily basis since I returned from Europe 26 years ago.

As a retired— or I prefer— re-fired international photojournalist, I want that paper with a hint of print ink smell in my hands to blend with my morning cups of Starbucks Rich French Roast coffee, Breadsmith English Muffin toast, butter and Marmite. It’s an acquired taste, people.

Still, I’ve been having this conversation in my head: cancel, don’t cancel. The issue? Delivery problems, serious delivery problems.

Boring Alert: It’s true, the following information will be boring to look at let alone read. So don’t bother with the details.

Just peruse: 

No paper nine times in 2021 as of 12.08.21 and the year is not over yet.

  • 12.9.21 — late paper, after 8:30 a.m.
  • 12.8.21 — late paper, call for redelivery.
  • 11.27.21 — no paper.
  • 11.13.21 — no paper.
  • 11.15.21 — no paper.
  • 11.16.21 — no paper.
  • 10.11.21 — no paper 8 a.m. — didn’t get one at all despite calling and the promise one would be delivered.
  • 10.3.21 — no paper 8:30 a.m.
  • 6.2.21 — late paper 8:10 a.m. called to request paper, no paper for over two hours, called back to cancel.
  • 4.8.21 — no paper 9:15 a.m.
  • 4.7.21 — no paper 8 a.m.

No paper eight times in 2020.

  • 6.25.20 — no paper 7:30 a.m., arrived at 8:20 a.m.
  • 6.22.20 — no paper, called at 8:30 a.m., still no paper at noon, called to have them note my account we STILL have NO PAPER.
  • 6.21.20 — no paper by 9 a.m.
  • 5.13.20— wtf? 
  • 5.2.20 — no paper by 9 a.m.
  • 2.26.20 — no paper by 8 a.m.
  • 2.23.20— no paper by 8 a.m.
  • 1.1.2020 — no paper by 8:30 a.m.

No paper eight times in 2019.

  • 4.18.19 ditto.
  • 9.22.19 ditto.
  • 9.25.19 ditto.
  • 11.9.19 ditto.
  • 11.13.19 ditto.
  • 11.24.19 — called at 8:10 a.m. and again at 2:36 p.m. STILL NO PAPER.

Wrote an email to the Circulation and Depot Deliver Manager, copied René Sanchez, Star Tribune editor.

  • 12.1.19 — Sarah — NO PAPER at 9:20 a.m. — requested delivery, STILL NO PAPER.
  • 12.2.19 Called Deputy Circulation Manager.

You can see, I have been quite patient. This is not a rush to judgment.

“Get the eEdition,” you might be thinking. Well, we have that subscription, too, since we often travel up to La Farm near Ashby, Minn., in Otter Tail County.

There are definitely advantages about the eEdition: It’s available usually by 4 a.m. The photographs — important to me as a photojournalist— appear in all their glory in vivid true colors. I can enlarge them if I want to, which I often do on my iPad or laptop.

I also send emails frequently to the Star Tribune photographers, as well as reporters, when they’ve done an outstanding job to compliment them on their work, their art, their craft. I encourage them to keep on doing what they’re doing.

I wish I could say the same thing to the Circulation Department.

It is probably not a management problem. It is likely, I expect, that people don’t want the job, which is early hours, no matter the weather, seven days a week. There are usually different weekday and Sunday delivery people.

Our newest weekday deliver person lives almost 20 miles away. First he has to pick the newspapers in downtown Minneapolis and then deliver them to goodness knows where in addition to Edina. Our paper rarely comes before 8 a.m. now, that is if it comes at all.

So, yes, I am going to bite the bullet and cancel our daily paper subscription only keeping the Sunday paper. We’ll see how that delivery works. I’ll give them three months. If they fail to deliver three times in three months, that, too, will be the end of that and we’ll be an all eEdition customer.

Now that really makes me sad.

One thought on “LA VALLEUR COMMUNICATES: Musings By Barbara La Valleur — Newspapers, Print Edition: The End Of An Era”

  • Lee December 15, 2021 at 9:12 pm

    We cancelled ours a few years go for the same reasons.


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