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Obscene Obituary Rates

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by daytonadan1983, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    In Kansas, a commission/school district/whatever legal body declares an "official" newspaper. That newspaper then prints the legals at a competitive rate compared to (or better than, if it so chooses) a classified ad of a similar size.

    A few years back, the daily paper I used to work at gained a weekly competitor. Our publisher heard the weekly was going to go after all the official declarations by offering to print them for half of what we would, which would probably still have been decent cash for them. So our publisher told the governing bodies they could print their legals for $1 regardless of size for the the next year.

    We kept the legals, which kept income out of the competitor's hands. The only governing body that declared the weekly the official paper was a city council in a very small town near the county line, which had so little going on that it only published a legal a couple of times a year, one being the city budget.

    But the same law that allows a governing body to declare an official newspaper also restricts how much the newspaper can raise the rate each year. We weren't able to get the price back up to normal until several years after the weekly's demise.
  2. canucklehead

    canucklehead Member

    First of all, so sorry for your loss.
    I grew up on a small town and the obits were on the radio everyday at 10 after 1. My folks would stop what they were doing and listen. Cards were put in strategic spots all over town. Impossible to miss a funeral.
    I moved away 30 years ago and the obits are now on the radio station's website. I check them almost everyday. It's amazing how many people I knew growing up who are dying these days.
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