Thursday, July 9, 2009

Yesterday's Davidson A.M.: "McNair opens Gridiron9, hopes to add others"

Posted By on Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 6:45 AM

click to enlarge Yesterday's Davidson A.M. (Notice the phrase "STAY UP TO DATE" on the left...how fitting.)
  • Yesterday's Davidson A.M. (Notice the phrase "STAY UP TO DATE" on the left...how fitting.)
Over on my side of town, The Tennessean's weekly Davidson A.M. supplement has been a topic of discussion on the East Nashville listserv, mostly because Gannett sees fit to throw it in the yards of everyone in the neighborhood, regardless of whether you're a subscriber. As a result, the papers are littering the area, strewn across streets and sidewalks. Being the delinquent yard keeper that I am, it's not uncommon for three weeks' worth of Davidson A.M. to accumulate on my lawn and walkway before I get up the wherewithal to hurl them into the recycling bin. Some have suggested that we save them all up and dump them on The Tennessean's sidewalk. That's why I was caught off-guard when Scene art director Rob Williams called yesterday to ask if I had seen this week's Davidson A.M. He had been shocked to pick up his copy (in Germantown), only to find the following headline as the lead story: "McNair opens Gridiron9, hopes to add others." With jaw dropped, I ran out to find mine wedged in the monkey grass along my walkway, and sure enough, Rob was right. The lead story talks about McNair's new restaurant and features quotes from the now deceased quarterback. And the paper is clearly marked "Wednesday, July 8, 2009." Mine, however, came with the following letter from president and publisher Ellen Leifeld, attached with a rubber band:
To our readers, This edition of Davidson A.M. includes a story about former Titans quarterback Steve McNair. The story, including an interview with Mr. McNair, was prepared before his death last Saturday. This edition of Davidson A.M. was printed last Friday. It is common practice for newspapers to print some feature sections several days before their distribution. We apologize for the timing of the story.
Is it also common practice to go ahead and deliver said paper if it makes you look ridiculous? Furthermore, Rob's paper had no letter attached. "Are you sure?" I asked. He went and checked the plastic bag his paper came in. No letter...but two copies of Davidson A.M., which makes you wonder how many papers went out without the letter. What could possibly make Gannett think it was a good idea to distribute the paper, even with the letter? Would the city have ground to a halt without our weekly Davidson A.M.? Is the embarrassment really worth the three pages of advertising dollars? Or did they just assume that, like me, no one actually reads the thing, so it would slip by unnoticed--yet they could still charge the advertisers?

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