Press Talk: Of changes & Tebowing

By Lou Brancaccio, Columbian editor

Published:

 

“Change is the only constant. Hanging on is the only sin.”

I’ve always liked this quote from celebrity Denise McCluggage. It speaks to the need to not stand pat.

We evolve. The world evolves. Not evolving means falling way behind. Or worse.

So The Columbian went through a few changes this week. We were positioning ourselves for the years ahead, making sure that our expenses meet our revenues.

But we also knew going in -- even though change is necessary -- that not everyone loves the concept.

So how’d we do?

We made a few mistakes, for sure. On Monday we left out a word puzzle. Not good. And one crossword puzzle was printed too small.

On a phone line we set up to help us manage reader comments, the above two issues accounted for many of the calls.

We corrected those the next day.

But it was the TV listings -- our daily grid -- that created some of the most intense responses.

The way we figured it, if you subscribe to cable or satellite TV, you use the electronic TV grids on your set. No need to look at a newspaper TV grid.

Well, we figured wrong.

The listing we opted to run was a strange brew of “Twilight Zone”-type channels. And the channels didn’t go from 8 to 9. They went from 8 to 8.1 to 8.4.

Who knew what you could get with an old-fashioned antenna!

And we heard about it.

“Lou, The Columbian. The top management. Please give us back our TV grid the old way. Please, please! I’ll get on my knees.

“I’ll come down and scrub the sidewalk in front of The Columbian. I’ll do anything! I’ll even clean The Columbian toilets if you give me back the TV grid the old way.

“Lou, I’ll even help you write your Saturday column. I must have my old TV grid. Love you.”

This good-natured comment came from longtime reader Ron Rasmussen.

Ron -- and many others who weren’t quite so good-natured -- made their point. So we switched back.

I suspect eventually the TV grids will go away. Not tomorrow or next month. But like thousands of stock listings that used to grace newspapers, TV listings will vanish.

And Ron, see? You did help me write my column. He called again when we made the switch back.

“Lou this is the man that was going to clean your toilet, trying to get you to improve the TV grid. Well this morning’s paper, my TV grid looked fabulous.”

• • •

Apparently not everyone liked it when I struck my Tebowing pose last week. A few folks didn’t know what Tebowing was. A few others felt I was making fun of him.

Tebowing, for those not in the know, is named after quarterback Tim Tebow. The former Florida Gator and present Denver Broncos starting QB often goes down on one knee in prayer after scoring a touchdown.

The concept has caught fire and now scores of folks all over the world are doing it. But when I did it, a few folks determined I was making fun of him.

That’s ridiculous.

There’s a difference between making fun and having fun. And I was having fun.

Ron, could you help me get folks to understand this? If you do I’ll let you out of toilet duty. ;-)Lou Brancaccio is The Columbian’s editor. Reach him at 360-735-4505 or lou.brancaccio@columbian.com.