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Not pleased with charge for obituaries

As a reader/subscriber to the Tribune for 10 years, I feel compelled to respond to your "My View" column of Sunday, August 19, 2001 on the subject of charging for obituaries.

Tuesday, August 28, 2001

As a reader/subscriber to the Tribune for 10 years, I feel compelled to respond to your "My View" column of Sunday, August 19, 2001 on the subject of charging for obituaries.

I have noticed for some time the increasing amount of advertising in the paper. As a former business-owner who advertised in the Tribune, I know that advertising is not cheap.

The increased revenue generated by the ads should be enough to offset the inclusion of a proper obituary. The family of the deceased is now forced to pay a minimum of $25 if they want it included in the paper. I’m sure they feel obligated to pay so they won’t be considered "cheap" by only having an impersonal death notice printed in their home town newspaper.

How absurd this is! You should also charge for weddings, engagements, births and other family news. This would bring in lots more revenue as most of these include a larger picture than an obituary, so you could charge more than $10 to include it.

With all the added money coming in, perhaps you could afford to print a TV program guide that is more up-to-date. The current grid has many incorrect entries.

For example, channel 22 is listed as Showtime, but instead is WHCP (Portsmouth), the WB station for our viewing area. Channel 14 (WGN), is not even listed. Many more stations are listed incorrectly or not listed.

Don Mayne and Louise Sark used to write their columns, which were something the readers enjoyed regularly. I miss them, as I’m sure many do. Why not have someone do this type of reporting again?

What happened to "What’s Cookin’?" Replaced by blocks of advertising? Why not get a food store to sponsor it, since advertising dollars seem to be the bottom line?

The "Calendar/Reunions" columns could be very profitable to you as they occupy large amounts of space. Why not charge for listing here?

These added revenues could perhaps finance more space for the comics page, as I sometimes have to get a magnifying glass to read my favorites.

In closing, I guess the charge for obituaries is just the "straw that broke the camel’s back" in urging me to finally write to vent my dislike of what has happened to my "hometown newspaper." I’m sure that others feel the same way, but haven’t written to express their opinions.

Howard Perkins

Coal Grove