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Will I Subscribe to the St. Pete Times?

Posted By Ester Venouziou, Tuesday, November 08, 2011
The two weeks after I got laid off from the St. Petersburg Times, I received much mail from them, or on their behalf: my official termination letter, my 401K options, my cobra options ... and an advertisement urging me to become a subscriber to their Pulitzer-Prize winning paper.

Talk about rubbing salt in the wound (or insert your favorite cliche here). My initial reaction was to crumble the letter, stuff it back in the pre-paid envelope and send it back to them, marked "$#%!$!$@#, Attention: HR department."

But instead I set it aside, in my pile of "bills and other stuff I'll get to eventually." Eventually was Sunday night. I plopped everything on the floor and started to organize my life.

• • •

About halfway through I got to the St. Petersburg Times subscription letter. And immediately, I knew what I was going to do.

• • •

My first "real" job in journalism was right out of college, at the Boca News (now an online-only news site, with no paid staff), in South Florida. That was in the early 1990s, and, like many young journalists, I had a glorified view of journalism. We were ready to take on the world, make a difference, be the voice for the underdog.

I scoffed at people who said they didn't read the paper. Seriously?! What is WRONG with you?!!!?!

Years later the idealism faded and cynicism kicked in.

But as gloom-and-doom death-of-newspapers talk kicked in, my pleas took a more personal tone: How could you NOT get the paper?! Don't you want me to have a job in a few years?!?!!?!
 
• • •

The Times has a talented group of writers, photographers, copy editors and designers. The Times, even with a dwindling staff in these tough economic times, remains one of the best newspapers in the country and one of the largest news-gathering operations in the Tampa Bay region.

Besides, even though I no longer work at the Times, many of my friends still do. How could I NOT support them?

I'm signing up for an annual subscription. I might even include a few extra  dollars.



Are you starting over after a layoff? We want to hear your story! Please email us at events@localshops1.com, and include your story and contact info. We will try to include as many stories as possible in future blogs.

Ester Venouziou, founder of LocalShops1.com and co-founder of Gulfport! Magazine, is available for freelance projects: writing, editing, design or social media. She can be reached at ester@localshops1.com or 727.637.5586.




Tags:  401k  death of journalism  do you read the paper  florida  layoffs at the st. petersburg times  newspaper job  newspaper subscription  tampa bay 

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Ali Collins says...
Posted Tuesday, November 08, 2011
I love the paper and we subscribe 7 days a week - I am not sure what we will do come Jan 1 - we are thinking of dropping our sub in revolt of the name change . . .
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