Category Archives: bottom line

It's been a wGazetteeek now since the new and improved Montreal Gazette got delivered to its few remaining subscribers. Can you see the difference? I can't. But let's give them credit for not quitting and giving up on old-fashioned print media.

Unfortunately the decline will continue. I think the National Post and Maclean's magazine do a better job of survival tactics - sensational headlines, attention grabbing photos combined withhigh-quality journalism and provocative commentary. That works for me. But maybe only for a few other stubborn traditionalists who want to browse, digest and share a printed product.

At $30 a month the Gazette is losing its appeal. It's not enough to shuffle the format and add some colour. Cost cutting by out-sourcing printing may help, but maybe delivery to the door of every subscriber is another issue. Canada Post has already decided it cannot be done economically. (Although the postal worker is clearly higher paid than the newspaper carrier.)

I'm trying to be supportive of the local paper because it's an important alternative source of news and views on our community and the world around us. But I'm not optimistic for the business model. And certainly not proposing a taxpayer fundedCBC model. We may be looking at another example of creative destruction and the Gazette will only survive by evolving to a more effective digital media hybrid. The plan just needs to be more creative.

An interesting round this week with my friend Giles. We are about the same calibre and often are close in score but this week was unusual.

We started well. He takes his usual abbreviated back swing and hits a drive down the middle. I take my usual full swing and hit a five iron past him and still on the fairway. I chunk the next shot and we both bogey. We then both make the next hole, par 3, and carry on from there. He works his way around with another par 3, a few bogeys and doubles. I also make the other par 3 and play better except for a blow-up 9. Surprisingly, we finish the front nine together at 49. (Not great golf, but we're 20+ handicappers and the course has punishing rough. No margin for error; if you're into the hay it's a lost ball.)

We chat to the cute and charming young lady serving hot dogs during our break then start badly on the back nine. (We agreed she was to blame.) I stumble to a 7 on the first par 3 and manage another ugly 9 on a par 4. Saved by my putting, I sink a couple of 10 and 12-footers and everything within 4-feet for two more pars, a 3 and a 5. Giles doesn't get any putts to fall in but keeps it close with bogeys.

Over the 19th hole beers, we add it all up. And discover we both had 49 again on the back nine!

If you've watched the pros, you'll see the same phenomenon. As in business, there are many ways to get there - power, finesse, and luck may all apply in varying degrees at different times. The bottom line is still all that matters. This is not figure skating - there are no points for style.