Here's the front page of the Tennessean's weekly Davidson A.M. edition, which is one of those zoned supplements that go yellow on your lawn and contain nothing but Zales ads and the occasional fluffy interview with a dead person.
The supplement came thumping onto the doorstep of Nashville Scene's Jack Silverman yesterday; attached to it with a rubber band was a letter from president and publisher Ellen Leifeld:
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.
The story was a thoroughly disposable interview with Steve McNair, who was opening the first of several "Gridiron9" restaurants. McNair is now, you might have heard, dead. The newspaper thought long and hard about this uncomfortable fact and decided it wasn't worth the trouble to pull all the supplements. Per Joe Strupp of Editor & Publisher:
"That had all been done and processed Saturday morning," said Bob Faricy, the Tennessean's vice president/market development. "We really could not find a feasible way to pull all of them back and re-do it in a reasonable time."
Faricy said copies of the Davidson edition that would have been delivered with subscribers' papers were removed and replaced with a new version. But he said the version that goes to non-subscribers was not pulled back, with those copies going out carrying the McNair story.
Faricy said the key element of the decision involved the ad inserts that had to be distributed and the timing involved in repackaging. He declined to say how much money it would have cost the paper to repackage and distribute the non-subscriber copies. "We made the decision that that did not seem feasible," he added. "We have only gotten feedback from one customer, but we will probably hear more today."
Yes, probably. I'll just note here that the Tennessean is a Gannett paper, and therefore run by greedy, middle-minded nitwits whose idea of a great American newspaper is the Thrifty Nickel, if that wasn't obvious already.
Yesterday's Davidson A.M.: "McNair opens Gridiron9, hopes to add others" [Nasvhille Scene]
Readers Get 'Tennessean' Interview With McNair — After His Death [Editor & Publisher]