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(Over) charging for obits

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by MU_was_not_so_hard, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    While this is journalistically related, I'll be honest, it's for personal purposes.
    My wife had a family member pass away a couple days ago, and the funeral home handling her services told the family an obit in the Dallas Morning News now cost $1,500.
    The family already paid for it, and since I don't know anyone at the DMN anymore, I figured I'd just bring that one here.
    I've never heard of a shop charging anywhere near this, and I know a lot of papers still charge nothing at all.
    Is this normal?
  2. SportsDude

    SportsDude Active Member

    My small-time daily rag charges $7 per column inch. And I thought that was expensive.
  3. doctor x

    doctor x Member

    Our small shop started charging in the mid-1990s. Until then, there were restrictions on what could be included (survivors limited to immediate family, etc.). Now that the funeral home (family) is paying, there's no end to the shlock that can be included. And while it is basically paid advertisting, it is considered "editorial content" and severely cuts into our newshole some days.

    Needless to say, our rate is not comparable to that of the DMN.
  4. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    I was just told the Fort Worth Startlegram they ran was quoted at 1/5th of the price of the DMN for the same Obit.
  5. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    I was at a funeral today where the woman who passed away had possibly the shortest obit I have ever seen.

    I found out they were being charged $3 per line, and they just did not have the money for it.

  6. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    MU, my deepest sympathies.

    After a family member of mine passed away, the funeral home paid for the obit as part of its burial package deal.
  7. Jersey_Guy

    Jersey_Guy Active Member

    There is no "overcharging" for obits. Obits are mostly a product. The product charges what the market will bear.

    If it were up to me, there would be no free obits unless you're a public figure. Seriously. There are no free Fords or groceries or PS3s. We're a product, folks, now more than ever.

    Don't like the price? Don't pay. So simple.
  8. pressmurphy

    pressmurphy Member

    I believe my former shop, with a Sunday circ of about 200K, is up to around $9.50 a line. Typical obit is 25-30 lines.
  9. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    Our obits are free.
  10. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    We're talking about two different things here, right. Obituaries and death notices, right?
    They're not the same.
    Obits are a journalistic endeavour, and there shouldn't ever be a fee involved.
  11. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    Anymore, death notices are free and obits are not, least at my last 3-4 shops.
  12. JoelHammond

    JoelHammond Member

    MU, sorry to hear that; tell the Mrs. I said so.

    Having said that, I'd double-check that. That sounds CRAZY high, right?
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