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Will I Subscribe to the St. Pete Times?

Posted By Ester Venouziou, Tuesday, November 8, 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, and include your story and contact info. We will try to include as many stories as possible in future blogs.

Ester Venouziou, founder of and co-founder of Gulfport! Magazine, is available for freelance projects: writing, editing, design or social media. She can be reached at 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 8, 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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