Cleveland's First Day Without Daily Home Delivery of the Plain Dealer Gets Off to a Shaky Start
After gutting the newsroom with layoffs last week, this morning, Monday, August 5, marked the first day of no home delivery of the Plain Dealer newspaper. Although the paper will only be delivered to homes on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, a printed version will still be available for purchase at newsstands and stores. On the days of no home delivery, however, PD faithful will be forced to rely on Cleveland.com and the paper's daily e-edition. The era of no daily home delivery of the Plain Dealer got off to a shaky start today, with tales on social media of readers walking outside to grab the paper only to realize that daily home delivery had ended, or of difficulties accessing the e-edition of the paper online.
The e-edition website has reportedly crashed this morning, with some readers contacting the PD to only to be told that the problem is "too many people are trying to access the paper at the same time." Downloads of the e-edition through the PD's iPad app have also reportedly taken over an hour to complete due to the high-demand. Perhaps this is an issue that will be resolved in time, but it's certainly not the best way to kick-off a new era or increase reader confidence and satisfaction with a changing product.
Others complain about the layout of the e-edition being difficult to read, and some have voiced displeasure with even the look and contents (or lack thereof) of the printed version of today's paper available at newsstands.
There are rumblings of cancelling subscriptions in favor of the Akron Beacon Journal, and talks of purposeful, conspiratorial failure on behalf of the PD in an attempt to hasten its demise as a printed product. Whatever the case is - incompetence and lack of planning or devious action to bring about a desired result - one thing is for sure: the launch of the Plain Dealer into a new era of reduced home delivery and increased digital focus has not gone well and there is much need for improvement, and quickly.