In Seattle, how billionaire Newhouse family stays that way

According to Forbes, the two Newhouse brothers, Si and Don, together are worth more than $15 billion. Here’s one reason why.

I am a long-time subscriber to the Newhouse media empire’s celebrated flagship weekly magazine, The New Yorker. Yesterday at the New To Seattle world headquarters, I received a mailing marked–in urgent all-capital letters–“EXPIRATION NOTICE.” Here’s the envelope, poorly highlighted by me:TNY envelope

Omigod! My subscription was about to lapse! No more “Talk of the Town.” Gotta do something!

I was all set to pay when my eye caught some extremely small type (similarly highlighted by me) on the side of the renewal form:TNY renewal

That’s right. My subscription still has nearly four years to run. It won’t expire until July 17, 2017. That’s even more than a half-year after the next presidential election in 2016, which to me seems a long way off.

I’ll leave it to readers to opine on whether this Newhouse ploy is sharp practice. Perhaps the bros are trying to make up for the scamster who nicked their Advance Publications for $8 million using just one email. Still, as the time value of money is taught in the business schools churning out all those finance folks trying to take over the economy, a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow. Or in this case, a dollar in 1,341 tomorrows.

To see reader comments, click on the headline at the top of this post, then scroll to the bottom.

Follow William P. Barrett’s work on Twitter by clicking here.

Share on Facebook

Comments

In Seattle, how billionaire Newhouse family stays that way — 7 Comments

  1. Pingback: The New Yorker Is Really, Really Sure You Won’t Miss Any Issues | BSC FORMACIÓN

  2. OK, so it’s not just me. I was wondering why, having just renewed for a full year, I was getting snail-mail spammed with “EXPIRATION NOTICE” letters as well.

  3. This renewal tactic must have gotten me a couple of times because my subscription has even longer to run than your’s. I wised up last year, thinking “Didn’t I just do this?” and looked closer. I just got the same notice and directly recycled it. I know the people responsible for why I love the New Yorker are not part of this but I agree with you that it does say something about who the circulation staff reports to.

  4. We got a call from a purported (and pushy) New Yorker subscription hawker on the little-used landline the other evening, seeking an urgent renewal of a subscription that is paid through mid 2015. My wife declined to give up her credit card number and the fellow declined to provide a web address where she could complete the transaction securely.

Leave a Reply