More Messages: Hard Sell

Here's a story that's unlikely to turn up in the Denver dailies or the Boulder Daily Camera. "Times-Call the Target of Subscription Sales Ploy," an offering published last week in Longmont's Daily Times-Call, begins by denying that the venerable publication has been sold. That's followed by an odd explanation about how this rumor got started:

People selling subscriptions to the Boulder Daily Camera and Denver Newspaper Agency papers (the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News) went door to door Saturday, telling Longmont residents that the Daily Times-Call and its sister paper, the Daily Reporter-Herald in Loveland, had been sold to the Daily Camera, according to reports to the Times-Call and at least one report to the Longmont Police Department.

The article goes on to say that the salespersons in question claimed that the Times-Call "would no longer be published and that subscriptions would have to be transferred to the Boulder newspaper" -- a ploy that was said to have fooled at least one elderly woman, who wrote out a $25 check to a solicitor. Nevertheless, a Daily-Camera spokesman denied that anyone at his paper had authorized such a sales strategy, and a representative of NewsBoy LLC, the company whose employees allegedly used the pitch, characterized it as a rogue operation.

Lining up newspaper subscribers these days must be even tougher than advertised... -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts