10.10.2014 07:03 AM

Bye-bye Globe and Mail

When I was going to Bishop Carroll High School in Calgary, my Dad subscribed to the Globe and Mail.  We got the Herald, too, but both of us thought the Globe was a better-written paper, albeit pretty Toronto-centric.  I loved reading Jay Scott’s stuff – that was a writer.  I adored that man.

Anyway. Media habits are hard to break (I guess), so when I went away to study journalism at Carleton, I kept getting the Globe delivered.  Even when Chris, Harold, Ryan and I were penniless – even when we were exchanging empties to buy K.D. or beer, not necessarily in that order – I still got the Globe.  Back home in Calgary, in law school and rooming with Bjorn, same thing: beer, Ichiban and the Globe.  That was it.

In the intervening (many) years, I kept getting the Globe delivered.  I got all the other papers, of course, but the Globe was the constant.  So, when I wrote for the Post, I’d buy it on the street, and then I stopped reading it entirely – I don’t think I’ve looked at it since 2008 (and I don’t think I’m alone, in that regard).  I got the Star for a while, too, but I eventually got fed up with their self-congratulatory “Star Gets Results” crusade crap – and, when they threw out my friend Fergie like he was trash, I cut them off for good. (If Doug Ford gets elected, you can mainly blame the Star, by the by.)

The Sun, who has been wonderful to me for four years, I of course read daily – but I buy it on the street, like you’re supposed to with a good tab.  I don’t know how much longer I’ll be writing for them, however.  After this week’s developments, not long, I suspect.

The Globe, through all of those years, has been the constant.  I stuck with them, even as the ads started to disappear and the actual journalism started to do likewise.  And then, in recent months, my paper simply stopped showing up on my doorstep in the East End.

Ladurantaye, when he was still writing for the paper – and boy, did they ever miss my friend this week – tried to get the problem fixed.  I got the papers again for a while, and then they started bypassing my doorstop again.  Then Steve left the paper for Twitter, which tells you plenty.

So, again this morning, no paper.  Again.  I called the Globe switchboard on the way in to work.  No one answered, naturally, so I was transferred to a lady in or near Mumbai (which, again, tells you plenty).  She read off a screen, trying to strong arm me into staying on with a paper that doesn’t deliver.  After a half-dozen refusals, I finally got her to listen to me.  Cancelled.  Review that for quality assurance purposes, newspaper marketing experts.

Anyway, it makes me a bit sad, but that’s the way it is, in this era where U.S. hedge funds will soon be controlling what every Canadian reads – except, perhaps, in Toronto or Montreal.  It sucks. It totally sucks.

The moral of the story, for the dwindling number of people working at a dwindling number of newspapers, I suppose, is this: when you don’t deliver – both literally and figuratively – you’re going to lose people.

Today, after forty years, the Globe lost me.






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    smelter rat says:

    I stopped taking it after their last Harper endorsement, but it suddenly started showing up at my doorstep every morning about a month ago. Some sort of free offer for 3 months to try and entice me back. Good luck with that. Anyhoo, I’m probably getting your copy, so thanks. 🙂

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    Michael Behiels says:

    Yup! I gave up buying the Gob and Pail nearly twenty years ago!

    I would subscribe online but they charge an arm and a leg. And for what! The quality has fallen dramatically over the past 20 years! It’s mostly awkward, ranting and poorly written opinion pieces and less and less investigative reporting.

    I wish this was not so but there are few signs that journalism and journalists can do the job of informing readers the way they used to in the age of infotainment.

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    Lorne says:

    I’m getting the Globe free for three months, and although I was a long-time subscriber, will not take it after the trial period. My preference, and the paper to which I have subscribed for the past several years, is The Toronto Star. I don’t know why you are put off by their investigative results. They are the only paper that is making a real difference in municipal, provincial and federal legislation. Their recent investigation, for example, into Health Canada’s ineptitude and fecklessness over dangerous, suspect and contaminated drugs from Apotex did indeed get results. I’m happy that Canadians have someone actually looking out for us.

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      Lavar says:

      The Star has the maturity of a 20 year old but also the energy to match. The Globe has the maturity of a 55 year old and the self-importance to match. Personally, I’d rather put up with the negatives of the former then the negatives of the latter.

      The Globe has done well to move with the major newspaper-reading population but it might just follow that group off the cliff, too.

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    Hammer Dom says:

    I read it daily for 30 years.

    They let their freelancers’ go in the last month including our friend Geoff Pevere who was and is an uber-intellectual film critic and wrote ‘Gods of the Hammer’ (The Story of Teenage Head), to which Hammer Dom contributed,(AND mentions Shit from Hell). I said I’d make a phone call, ’cause his shit was WICKED smart, but alas…

    Warren is right. As much as he made fum of ‘The Glib and Flail’, it was the National for people who spoke English and didn’t enjoy correcting grammar with a freakin’ hi-lighter as they read the morning paper

    So they are done to me as well.

    Ask ANYONE who REALLY knows, and ‘The Guardian Weekly’, (Manchester Guardian as it was when printed on onion skin), with excerpts from the Paris Le Monde and Washington Post, is the ONLY paper anyone needs to read…but you DO have to know how to read.

    I’ve read it for 35 years, and fuck if that cryptic crossword is not from outer space.

    Indeed, Nelson Mandela read the Guardian Weekly whilst he was incarcerated in Pollsmoor prison, describing it in his autobiography as a “window on the wider world”.

    Or check this quote, this is badass: “We let God sort out the priorities. But we do know what’s going on. The convent gets a copy of the Guardian Weekly. “Mother Basil

    Hammer Dom, 10-4

    (PS, Guardian Weekly and wk.com daily)

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    Julie Ovenell-Carter says:

    I feel your pain. I was once loyal to the Globe, first as a young Carleton J-school student, then as a Globe editor, and then as a regular freelancer. I put down my credit card when the whole online relaunch first happened, and I tried so hard–I really did–to keep the love going. But I got tired of the typos and the grammatical errors and most importantly, the complete lack of reportage from my own Wet Coast. I tried to make my POV heard, but no one was listening in Toronto. There was simply no saving the marriage; I broke it off.

    It’s The Tyee for me now. And The Guardian.

    Breaks my heart, actually, watching an industry die right before my eyes and not being able to do anything except wait for the death rattle to stop…

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    terraderma says:

    I have a very similar story. At one point in university, the morning coffee collective bought the Globe ‘…to keep tabs on how the other side thinks…’. If it was on the front of the ROB today, it would be frontpage news next week.

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    Bill says:

    I miss Wilfred List, Jan Wong, Derek DeCloet, Michael Valpy and his massive rolodex of experts in everything.

    Most writers can be be trashed these days, Saunders, Simpson, Wente, Burney, Milner, etc.

    I pick it up as I used to pick up Die Welt, a good gray paper with no advertising pages in my region. It passes the time at coffee and lunch, but the arts coverage is thin, thin, John Doyle is a stimulant, but they have no arts writers it seems. Marsha “Weepy” Lederman is a pathetic Western Canada arts ‘transcriber’

    Website is horrible and only visit to “clip” a story read in the paper.

    They are not even trying. I expect the Globe Star (National edition) merger any day now.

    I got a subscription trial but it came at 5 am, disturbing the cat. And i had already read “Tomorrow’s News, Today” with the Sydney Morning Herald the afternoon before.

    And of course this is V W (Vinegar Warren) dumping on people, again.

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    Elizabeth W says:

    Looks like Globe & Mail is having a bad month.

    After months of waiting for them to fix their comments mechanism I threw in the towel and cancelled my subscription.

    When a newspaper of record can’t be bothered to receive their readers’ views, it’s time to lose their readers.

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    K MArshall says:

    You have given me the nudge I need. Been thinking that the unreliable, tardy morning delivery (kick the paper aside as I go out the door to work) is not worth the money. I don’t want to be pushed into the electronic format. But I confess, I am highly addicted after 40 years to a good early morning newspaper read.
    To feed my addiction, I may try the tar, but I hear they share the morning delivery provider so that may not be a solution.
    Worth a try.
    Thanks for the nudge

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    Patricia Morfee says:

    We too were getting the Globe. At first it was a special deal for Saturday and Sunday papers only. The deal ran out and we were then paying more. The delivery was fine for awhile. We went away in June for two weeks. When we returned , we were getting the paper on Saturday but no Sunday. I phoned about it and they said they would add a free one at the end of whatever. This went on for three straight Sundays with no paper. My husband likes to do the Sunday Crossword so was not pleased. Finally after calling three times and being reassured they were looking into it with credit of free paper each time, we finally had enough. I called to cancel and the fellow on the other end tried to keep me as a subscriber. I explained my husband and the crossword. He said maybe receive through the week. He actually told me that there were two different delivery people, one for Saturday and one for Sunday. The Sunday person was new and did not know the route yet. After three weeks, I said he should have known it. After several tries, I finally convinced him to cancel our subscription. We did not receive the free missed papers so they were at the advantage. We do not live in Toronto and cannot buy it here otherwise.

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    Patricia Morfee says:

    Sorry it was Friday and Saturday. My bad.

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    Patrice Boivin says:

    At my house we decided two years ago to never pick up the phone when people are calling from 1-800, 1-888, or unknown numbers.
    These are all people either trying to sell us papers, or people pretending to do surveys to get around the no call lists.

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      smelter rat says:

      The joke is on you. I’ve won several free cruises just by sending them my credit info.

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    Nick says:

    Try http://www.onlinenewsreader.net. No pop ups or subscription nags, papers from all over Canada, US and UK.

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    Derek Pearce says:

    Well that’s too bad. I don’t get it, one of my best friends has gotten the Globe for years and years and years and never a missed paper ever (ok, maybe not during this past year’s and the 90’s ice storm or the Great Blizzard of ’99) but never a problem.

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    Kathie Housser says:

    the globe made the decision for me when they decided it was too expensive to send hard copies to Nfld. i was down to the weekend edition anyway ($3.25) and so find the 99 cent on line version wonderful. Some good feature writing and political analysis on Saturdays, AND I can print out the crossword in a larger font, kinder to my aging eyes.

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    DAVID STEIN says:

    The paper and its delivery STINK. What has the current publisher to be so arrogant about?

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    David Stein says:

    The Globe has been absolutely ruined by the current incarnation of Little Lord Thomson’s Doormat. About time he paddled back to Tolpuddle.

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