Plain Dealer cuts home delivery

Tom Jackson
Apr 5, 2013


The Plain Dealer says it will continue putting out a paper seven days a week, but will only have home delivery three days a week, starting in the "late summer." 

The paper won't say which three days, except that Sunday is one of them, with two to be named later. Full story is here.

I Tweeted a couple of questions to Robert L. Smith, the PD reporter who wrote the article. Here is our exchange:


@rlsmithpd Will the subscription price be cut? Will everything still be available online for free?
@jacksontom I haven't heard anything about subscription prices at the PD. Online remains free. Advance is opposed to pay walls.
As far as I can tell, the PD puts everything, or nearly everything, online. It looks like I'll be getting even more use out of my Plain Dealer Android app. 







The use of paper to dissimulate news is coming to an end. It's just the evolution of communication.


I may have to rethink my subscription to the PD. I have been reading it since I was a kid, and it would be hard to imagine not having it on the doorstep.

While the Android App for the PD is nice, it leaves out the comments. One of the best things about their website is reading the comments on Kevin O'Brien's columns. They bring the RAAAAR!



Tom Jackson


Good point. I just looked on my device, and I couldn't figure out how to access the comments, either. Maybe the PD should fix that.


Through a regular browser connection in lieu of the app you can see them and I can log in and post.


The carriers will just buy the papers out of the racks and continue to deliver but the price will double. The PD complains about dwindling circulation but they keep cutting it?

Wonder what the Dispatch has in mind? This move is a blow to The PD's stature in the marketplace. I always thought that the PD was pretty sensitive to their standing.

BW1's picture

My thoughts exactly - if the papers are printed, it seems like a great opportunity for some entrepeneur. If a third party is offering delivery 7 days a week, how long do you think the three day scheme will last? Pretty soon, the PD will be out of the home delivery business.


It might be an opportunity for a new newspaper for Cleveland. You're right, it sounds like they are on the edge of being out of the newspaper delivery business.


ahhh modern technology. we crave it yet it contributes to the elimination of more jobs than it creates.

it was interesting to note that several weeks ago on a saturday there were people protesting the elimination of saturday (at the time) mail delivery. i wonder just how many of those same people pay their bills on line. how many have paperless billing? they protest the very item they are helping to destroy!


The carrier won't necessarily have to buy the papers from the rack because there is a good possibility the carrier is also the independent distributor for the area they deliver to. This means they could just order more papers from pd (that the carrier pays for) for stores and racks, but make agreements with their home delivery customers. Seems like it would be a gamble on whether or not the customer would pay them for the papers the distributor has already paid for.


Interesting point but the PD isn't going to allow the distributor to circumvent their system. Usually the carriers do not resell to stores or service racks. There is no gamble because most home delivery customers prepay for their papers.


Actually they do resell to the store. They sign contracts with the newspaper and they become independent distributors. They then own the rights to distribute the paper to local stores (in their contract area) for a cost. They lease the vending machines and bill the stores directly. They pay a cost to the newspaper and what they well is their profit once the bill is paid. The distributor would have to make arrangements with their home delivery customers that would want to continue home delivery the other days. The distributor would have to bill the customer an agreed upon price and then take a chance that the bill would be paid for papers and delivery services. It would be like an individual store account per customer. The distributor is generally also the home delivery carrier.


Trust me Buggers78, the PD isn't going to allow a distributor to circumvent their edict for home delivery--they'll just enforce all those "clauses" in the contract. A carrier on the other hand that has no contract with the PD is free to do whatever he wants.


Well that I agree with. The person trusting that there be papers in the racks would be risking their own side business. It would be just as easy for the distributor to shut down machines and only make papers available for stores to ensure the papers are paid for. Which either way, the distributor will profit. If someone wants to get out there and track down hundreds of papers and pay newsstand price and go deliver them, good for them.