Reading Eagle has a bold plan to replace grizzled veterans with fuzzy-faced newcomers

Just how do you build a winning newspaper in this era of upheaval in the media industry? Peter Barbey, the CEO at Reading Eagle, has a swell idea.

Here is what this front-office genius has announced: Aging staffers still lumbering around the newsroom have been offered a cash buyout if they take an early — and in some cases late, very late — retirement. This will eliminate fat salaries that can be used to beef up the depleted staff with eager-beavers just out of journ school, as well as clear big bucks for Peter the Little to decorate his sprawling $26.5-million Greenwich Village crash pad with artifacts from the Titanic.

What could possibly go wrong with that strategy?

After all, three staffers with a combined 125 years of experience have been limping in and out of editor Harry Deitz's office all week (allegedly, this tip comes from the inside) to discuss their exit.

And what a glorious opportunity it is!

Each retiree can pocket $9,000 to hit the road, with the severance paid over three years, thus delivering a healthy tax break (for the Eagle). And the ex-pats won't have to worry about any co-pay for health care because they will not be part of the Eagle health plan anymore.

Oh, and since that nine grand is spread over three years, each retiree can purchase a nice case of craft beer each month while basking in the glow of being free from the shithole.

Take a number fellas. Harry has appointments booked solid all week.

Citizen Barbey shares revenue report with his staff and the numbers are "YUUUGE!"

Peter Barbey, the wee CEO driving both the Reading Eagle and The Village Voice into the ditch, in no particular order, delivered his quarterly staff report this week, and the numbers weren't very pretty.

As Donald Trump would say: "LOSER!!!"

Revenue from the rebranded Reading Eagle Press (REP, to you acronymoholics) plunged a whopping 28.7% last year, largely because Barbey was such a dickwad in pissing off his largest client, Albert Boscov, by refusing to renegotiate the retailer's printing deal.

The mite newspaper magnate spun the grim news by offering that "it really hurt us, but it didn't kill us," which is a what a lot of Republicans are still saying today.

Relatively speaking, WEEU radio, the voice of Berks County, is going great guns, showing a loss of only 10.2% last year. No mention was made whether the nosedive could be linked to the content sucking or whether station boss Dave Kline was too busy watching cash crumble as chief of Pretzel City Productions concerts.

Barbey assured his staff that the company was all set to resume matching 401(k) contributions for employees until that prick Boscov pulled his account and left the company gasping for air.

Instead, the paper will offer staffers buyouts paying 25 cents for every year of service.

The tiny tycoon then fled the room, saying he had to head to New York to select drapes for his new $26.5 million Greenwich Village condo.

Managing editor Dave Mowery fiddled with his necktie. Editor/associate publisher Harry Deitz slouched glumly throughout the wake playing with his iPhone and scouring the floor for pennies.

Subscribers sport huge boners because Sunday's Reading Eagle is delivered on Monday

It was a happy ending all around, come Monday morning.

Snowbound cranks with too much time on their hands woke up bright and early to find the Sunday Reading Eagle sitting on their doorstops, along with the Monday edition, the Saturday edition, and maybe some scraps left over from the blizzard of 1996.

Their was plenty of purring around the kitchen table as subscribers caught up on all the storm news from two days prior, holding their peckers as they feasted the news staff with "Bravos!" for a job well down.

But these lost souls soon developed a case of the sads, because while they waited and waited and waited for their letter carriers to make their appointed rounds Monday, they learned later that delivery service had been canceled in a great part of the county.

 What else could they do but take to social media and vent their spleens?

Sounds like a plan. Stick it to those lazy, worthless carriers who can't stand to get their galoshes wet.


1. The mail first has to arrive from Harrisburg. If it does not, the carriers have nothing to deliver.

2. Letter carriers have to find a legal parking place (good luck) and then trudge down unshoveled sidewalks to make door-to-door deliveries.

3. Reading Eagle carriers have only to park their vehicle in the middle of the street and fling the paper somewhere in the direction of the subscriber's house. There are only about 27 subscribers in the entire county anyway.

HAHAHA! Let's invoke the post office's famous mantra and then blame the unions for permitting deadbeat carriers to sit around the PO while piles upon piles of undelivered mail begin to rot.

If only Scott Walker could lurch out of oblivion, get himself elected president, and smash those conniving unions, next time neither snow nor sleet nor dark of night will delay anyone's Netflix.

And, yeah, howsabout those Chinese drones who can whisk a lip-smacking pu pu platter to your front door and not even tear up when left with a two-it tip? Why can't them postal workers slave like those coolies?

But...but..I saw a postal truck drive by? Must be carrying my mail.

Meanwhile, editor Harry Deitz published an extra-special edition of his award-winning Sunday column on Monday about how he is such a caregiver when looking after his staff's safety, and the readers (the ones he quoted anyway) were all for curtailing Sunday delivery:

We didn't want to put our delivery drivers and carriers at risk.

The skeleton staff — not Harry, even though he is quite thin — just had to find a way to work Saturday, log in punishing hours, spend the night in a hotel away from family, and then beam with delight when Sunday's edition finally hit the streets Monday morning:

We haven't missed an edition in the 37 years I've been at the Eagle, and that won't change. Meanwhile enjoy the free online delivery.

Which does pose the question, if the trees that died to put out the Eagle fall in the forest and nobody can read the day-before-yesterday's news until tomorrow, do those trees make a noise?

Just saying.

Harry Deitz will submit his caregiver yarn for a Pulitzer because of course he will

 Hey, Joe Pulitzer, waddya think?

Hey, Joe Pulitzer, waddya think?

From our deep background sources inside Not The Village Voice (Reading Eagle) comes wind that editor Harry Deitz is prepping up to submit his massive first-person “A Caregiver’s Story” for consideration for journalism's top award, a Pulitzer Prize.

Pulitzer Prize!?

Let’s cut off the snark right there, because in no way do we wish to disparage Mrs. Dietz and her suffering nor Mr. Deitz and his loyal and loving commitment to caring for his dying spouse. But making public a private person's sad decline and turning that into a sad tale about me, me, me is, well, let's just say some within the newsroom found it cringeworthy.

David Bowie’s caregiver will unlikely submit an article in competition.

An important message from Harry Deitz

Your morning newspaper is now more valuable. Why? Because we just told you so, and when we talk, you listen. Look at the upper right-hand corner of the first page. It now says $1.00 instead of 75 cents. See. More value. Instantly. Today.

What is one mere extra quarter, two bits, in the great scheme of journalism things? Cut back on your Starbucks, you cheapskate caffeine phreaks. News is what matters. Even if it is sometimes “olds,” such as our Page2 celebrity gossip column for Monday morning written on a Friday afternoon because nobody from our Dead (scratch that, Life) department wants to work on the weekend because of SENIORITY!

We cover everything, in and around Berks, better than Starbucks. We reported just this morning on the district attorney's decision regarding the shooting of some kids by a Reading cop. That shooting was justified. Trust the DA. We did not want to rankle his plumage by asking why the cop fired nine times after the children backed their auto toward him, nor how fast the auto was traveling, nor why the cop felt it necessary to fire nine times — BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! (Note to copy chief: Am I repeating myself? Is that nine times? Do we still have a copy chief? Yes. Layoffs coming next month. Check.)

You still can find the weekly Redner’s circular in our Sunday paper. (Hint: You do not want to shop at Giants. They suck. They switched their weekly circular to the Merchandiser. Who wants to read a greasy Merchandiser?  You won't find the latest scoopabout the district attorney and the Reading cop shooting there, now would you?)

Our Sunday paper is still a terrific deal, even without that lame-o Giant circular. Your single-copy price only went up to $2.00 from $1.75. See, isn't that a huge savings? We could have raised the price to $3.00, but we did not, because we care about you, our readers!

Shenandoah is only the fifth worst dump where you can live in Pennsylvania (da fuk)

Here we go, a listicle from some folks we never heard of over at RoadSnacks, ranking the 10 worst places to live in the great state of Pennsylvania, which, one has to admit, is a pretty depressing place to live anywhere, any place. (Property taxes, corruption, draconian pot laws, etc. etc.)

Here is the report on Shendo (462dafuk), my home turf as a lad:

Shenandoah is a borough located in the mining region 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia. Anyone with a pulse can purchase a home here; average homes sell for $33,000.

Say what you want about ‘cheap living.’ Homes are priced by demand, and there’s absolutely no demand to live in Shenandoah. The average family earns about $28,000 a year here.

This is a highly authoritative study. They save pixels by using single quote marks. The photos accompanying each community do not match up. Here is the photo they claim is Shendo:


It is not Shendo. It is green and nice. The streets are paved. There are railroad tracks. I want to live there.