Wednesday, August 13, 2003

CityBeat Sells Out?
Ok, I read this letter to the editor in today's CityBeat and I had to re-read the editor's response a couple of times to make sure I read it straight.

Where's the Love?
I'm writing to ask you to please reinstate Savage Love in your weekly print edition. This was one of my favorite columns in your paper.

I'm disappointed to learn you have made this a Web-only column in order to increase traffic to CityBeat's site. Dan Savage's column is available online at many Web sites and will not necessarily increase traffic to your site.

I wrote a protest letter to Kroger when they removed your paper from their stores because of the addition of Savage Love. Asking your readers to jump through this extra hoop now seems unfair.

-- Charles Mitchell, Mount Washington

Editor Responds: Yes, we're making Savage Love a Web-only column in order to increase traffic to our site, but it's been moved from the paper primarily in order to help us increase CityBeat circulation.
I read this and it says to me that CityBeat pulled the Savage Love column from the print edition in order to get the newspaper back into Kroger stores. Savage Love is a syndicated love/sex advice column run in many alternative weekly newspapers across the country. It's content can be "graphic "at times, and I mean graphic in the sense that most parents would not want their young kids to read it. Removing the content that might be considered "objectionable" would make the publication more retail friendly.

I am floored that CityBeat would basically admit that they removed the column in order to increase circulation. Are they positioning themselves to better compete with the Enquirer's weekly? The new Enquirer weekly will surely be available at Kroger's and every other grocery stores in the tri-state area. Compromising content for the sake of sales is the best way to maintain your market position. The activist friends of CityBeat call it selling out.

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