How much lower can The Age sink?
No sooner does The Age breathlessly trumpet that they have the best Form Guide of any daily newspaper, than they are forced to concede that they can’t actually afford to keep producing it.
Poor petals. This poignant missive sent to us by a friendly newsagent this week tells a sorry-arsed tale of financial stricture that suggests either (a) Don Churchill, the klueless kiwi klown who runs the show has no actual idea how to run a newspaper or (b) things are even worse than we first thought. Or both.
“The Age has produced a comprehensive form guide in paper for the duration of the Spring Carnival.” (We decided to copy the Herald Sun and try to produce a horsey form thingy, because that tabloid rabble has been doing it for years, and, well how hard can it be?).
“From Friday 14 November The Age Form will be produced as a separate tabloid Form Guide which is free with the purchase of The Age.” (Newsprint costs over a thousand bucks a ton, and we can’t afford all the paper it would take if we keep printing this form thingo in every copy of the Age, so we’ll print a couple of hundred for the handful of Age-reading types who may have visited a racetrack sometime in their lives, and if you want the wretched thing, you can collect it from your newsagent, because we’re not sullying our beautiful newspaper with it any more.)
“The new format allows the Age to better service specialised readers with a more consistent and comprehensive form Guide every Friday. ” (If we print it tabloid instead of broadsheet, it won’t send us broke, and, anyway, we’ve just realised that Fitzroy-dwelling, cafe-creeping sociologist types tend not to follow the nags with much enthusiasm, and the form guide was pissing them off.)
“Supply of the Age Form will not be 1:1, but should cater for reduced demand after the Spring Racing Carnival.” (God knows, if we printed 200,000 form guides, we’d be getting 199,000 back as unsold returns from newsagents. All in all, this has just been a terrible, terrible mistake and we’re ever so glad that this horse racing thing is over for another year. We’ll resume our previous, more edifying coverage of the Fringe Festival next week and try to forget about those beastly four legged running things. The Horror. The Horror.)
“Subscribers will be instructed to pick up The Age Form from their servicing newsagent should they require a copy.” (If you’re interested in horse racing, you’re clearly not one of our people. Switch your home delivery subscription to the Herald Sun immediately.)
“If you do not receive your allocation…please call the Customer Service Centre on 13 66 66.” (We’d like you to tell us if we fu*k up, no really, we would. True dinks. But, erm, just so you know, we actually sacked about 14 people from the Customer Service Centre last week, so don’t expect us to answer in a real tearing hurry…..)