And a warm welcome to the month of May.
This week brought another uptick in the number of new subscribers to this newsletter.
A special welcome to you!
Also this week, due to an inordinate number of work events here in New York City during what is called “The New Fronts,” I ran into lots of businesspeople I know and like. Chatting with many of these folks, an alarming percentage said some version of:
“Hey, what happened to your newsletter? I loved getting it, I told lots of people about it, but I haven’t gotten it for a while.” Hence the message at the top of the Masthead:
Help ensure delivery of our emails!!! Add LZSundayPaper@gmail.com to your address book and/or add to safe senders list.
Even if you are receiving it right now, please take a moment to follow that instruction. The vagaries of this email delivery system, Mailchimp, sometimes decides to kick me and my newsletter out of your inbox, sometimes permanently. In fact, it may or may not ever even reach your spam filter subsequently. It might just disappear into thin (cyber)air.
Mailchimp is an email newsletter program for which consumers pay a monthly subscription — and it is not cheap. I add it to the growing list of credit card charges for many other subscriptions. Most of them are for “media:” TV, radio, music, magazines, newspapers, telephone, internet, and other services that I receive every month. Each one is marketed as some version of ‘everything I need’ for one low, low price. And each one, at various times, can be deeply fulfilling. But definitely not all together and definitely not every month. And some of them are, sometimes, flawed or inconsistent. But for that there is no discount.
The marketing message of “everything you want, whenever you want it” is now pervasive. It’s no longer a consumer demand, it’s an expectation. It seems to be moving beyond that into “God-given right” territory. And once consumers believe that, they actually become more willing to pay for things that were once free. The right to pay for something has now morphed into a perceived value called the “subscription model,” which basically means you have the right to pay for something whether you use it or not.
I’m not sure the subscription model works in every industry. An “all you can eat” buffet or salad bar is all right, once in a while, but a subscription Never Ending Pasta Pass from Olive Garden? Endless Shrimp from Red Lobster? I maintain that few to none need that.
In media, as well, it may turn out that “everything I need” may actually be close to nothing. In a previous universe that I sort of dream-of-slash-long-for, I could stick a wire coat hanger on my roof and if I cared to “watch TV” I could choose from an array of fine networks (over 4 to choose from!). I could choose programs such as dramas or comedies or sports or news. If I got bored, I could turn on the radio at home or in my car. There are lots of stations! All kinds of music but also news and sports. Plus, tons of people call up and share their opinions — freely and for free! For both TV and radio, they thoughtfully included breaks, at least 30 seconds in length, so that you could go to the refrigerator to get something to eat, or even go to the bathroom!
Another rite of yesteryear was when people would go to the “library” to read periodicals that they didn’t care to pay to subscribe to. I respect that times have changed, so as an homage to that, I could go to today’s modern library, the “coffee place with free internet,” and browse any publication or social media feed I wanted. So I guess when I am feeling media-overwhelmed and can’t figure out how in the world I’m supposed to keep up, my fantasy boils down to: 1979 + Starbucks.
Anyhooo. The good news is that I think the Government can re-brand “taxes” as an annual “subscription fee” for being a citizen of the United States. Maybe our market cap will go way, way up, like Netfli
The LZ Sunday Paper is free. Every week, we compile almost all the news and topical information you can consume about women in business, politics, entrepreneurship, film, tv, music, literature, sports, and pop culture — roughly in that order. It’s no Endless Shrimp type of deal, but you can read as much as you want, all for the low, low price of skimming this introduction and maybe having a laugh.
You can find the most recent copy of the paper and the Archive at LZSundayPaper.com.
You can send me a note or an item you think I should see here.
Sometimes there’s so much interesting stuff out there I can’t wait ‘til Sunday so I tweet it during the week. By the way almost zero of my subscribers seem to be on Twitter but if you are, Follow me @LZSundayPaper.
See you next week…and get ready: order your flowers, make your brunch reservations, and/or lick those envelopes containing your cards for Mother’s Day!
News & Insights
At a turning point in history where most of the male members of the US supreme court seemed unsure which way to turn…www.theguardian.com
Here is what we know: The retirement savings crisis is enormous. By some estimates, Americans are under-saved by up to…www.washingtonpost.com
Note from the New Tech City team: Hello! As you'll hear above, we're renaming our show, and we want your help! OK, on…www.wnyc.org
Ben Horowitz believes his venture firm, Andreessen Horowitz, is doing its part to promote diversity in Silicon Valley…m.bizjournals.com
Just past 9:30 on a Wednesday morning in March, after she drove 20 minutes to drop her son, Jack, off at preschool…www.nytimes.com
Laura got an early start honing her negotiating chops from one of the top family-law attorneys in the country (her dad…www.alawyerslife.com
A group of women's rights activists will head to North Korea later this month to hold a peace rally and then walk…www.washingtonpost.com
The typically packed houses at the Digital Content NewFronts this week underscore the heightened importance of digital…www.adweek.com
Sussex researcher speaks of 'disbelief' at comments over paper on gender biaswww.timeshighereducation.co.uk
CAROL MORLEY'S entrancing new film, "The Falling", concerns an epidemic of fainting in an English girls' school: first…www.economist.com
Maria Bello wants to ask you some questions. The stunning actress, best known for her roles on ER and in A History of…www.thedailybeast.com
Become a fan of DoubleX on Facebook. Leave us love letters and see what other listeners are saying about the Gabfest…www.slate.com
The Alison Bechdel of real life is, and looks, pretty much like the adult "Alison Bechdel" you see on stage in…www.thedailybeast.com
Whatever you think of Jameis Winston - and odds are your opinion is as strong as his throwing arm - the 21-year-old is…www.washingtonpost.com
UPDATE: After savvy fest-watchers pointed out an error in today's Cannes Film Festival announcement that Emmanuelle…deadline.com
GREAT NECK, N.Y. - When Rachelle David applied for admission to the yeshiva high school here, her interviewer wrote in…www.nytimes.com
On my way home the other night, I realized that I was out of tampons, so I stopped to pick up a new box at my local…www.xojane.com