Telling tale of the "famously frugal" newspaper company

Last week I posted a special award to the most evil newspaper company on the planet: Journal Register Company (JRC), after I learned from a former coworker that the company was closing the weekly papers for which I once worked in southeastern Pennsylvania.

In the telephone conversation I had with my former coworker, she said one of the articles written in the Philadelphia Inquirer about the company closing other weekly papers in the Philadelphia area called JRC “famously frugal“. That was an understatement. Take tightwad multiply it by 10 and you still wouldn’t come close to what JRC was.

How tightwaddish were they?

Adapting Jesus’ saying “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God,” it would be easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than for a box of pencils or an entire package of reporters’ notebooks to be allocated to a JRC newspaper.

Let me explain.

As an editor for one of the company’s weekly newspapers, I had to fight to get reporters’ notebooks not only for my “reporters,” of which I was afforded no full-time reporters, but also even for myself. In addition to my duties as editor for two weekly papers, covering two suburban areas, I also was editor/reporter/photographer/sports editor (after a string of unsuccessful sports editors).

Trying to acquiring pens and pencils wasn’t much better than getting notebooks.

We’d order boxes of pens and be told we only could have individual pens, and while this next tale didn’t happen to me, I believe it happened because of my own experiences.

One of our “sister” papers requested a box of pencils.

The editor was asked how many people worked there. When he said, “Two,” the manager for our group of papers told him that he could have two pencils.

I guess, if one of those pencils broke, then one of those reporters was, as my wife would say, lit out of shuck (or LOS).

Now unfortunately, all the employees, including hopefully that manager, who are left and who didn’t jump out of the burning building previously like myself, are all LOS.

As for JRC, fortunately, it is reaping what it sowed. You get what you paid for: nothing.

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