June 2, 2009 in City

Doug Clark: Slim paper no sweat to Omdougsm

By The Spokesman-Review

The city of Spokane is going through the charade of hiring an ombudsman who will pretend to keep an eye on the cops.

Fortunately for you readers, The Spokesman- Review is already blessed with a self-important overseer.

And it’s time once again for The Omdougsman to address your newspaper concerns without being encumbered by upper-managerial topspin.

Q: Hey, The Spokesman- Review I received on Monday looks really different – what gives?

The Omdougsman: You must mean the front-page story from the editor. It’s about time we got some bylines out of that guy.

Q: No. I mean that my newspaper is skinnier than an Olsen twin with rickets.

The Omdougsman: Oh, yeah. That too.

Q: So what’s the deal?

The Omdougsman: Adopting the “Slim Jim” format not only saves wood pulp, but makes your newspaper even easier to roll up when you want to swat your dog or kill a bug.

Q: Are any other publications doing this?

The Omdougsman: My, yes. The Watchtower, Zig-Zag rolling papers, the Bazooka Joe bubblegum comic, Idaho’s road map …

Q: You can’t fool us. This is about saving money, isn’t it?

The Omdougsman: You got me. But give us a break. The newspaper industry is in more trouble than Jon and Kate’s marriage. We have to do something to keep the presses rolling and our executives in expensive suits.

Q: But didn’t Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire just approve a 40 percent tax break for the state’s ailing newspapers?

The Omdougsman: Aw, that’s just the usual political payback for endorsing her in the last election.

Q: Besides publishing a narrower newspaper, is the S-R doing anything more to reduce its carbon footprint?

The Omdougsman: Beginning next week we’d like all of our subscribers to walk or take the bus downtown and pick up their daily newspaper on the corner of Riverside and Monroe.

Q: Aren’t you asking a lot out of your customers?

The Omdougsman: Yes, but they will save gas and make Al Gore happy.

Q: How committed is The Spokesman-Review to being “green”?

The Omdougsman: We now have a company bicycle that employees can check out.

Q. That’s something, I guess.

The Omdougsman: After the layoffs and wage cuts, a company wet bar would have been a whole lot better idea, if you ask me. But management never seems to want to seek my advice on anything.

Q: Is there anything you appreciate about the new S-R format?

The Omdougsman: Absolutely. We kept the horoscope. And my column now must be 3 inches shorter.

Q: What’s so great about a shorter column?

The Omdougsman: Fewer words for the same money. It’s like getting a pay raise for a lot less wor

Columnist Doug Clark can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at dougc@spokesman.com.

There are two comments on this story. Click here to view comments >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email