RENO, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) — Newspapers across the country have shuttered. Costs have increased and people aren't reading the newspaper like they used to. Journalism continues at the Reno Gazette Journal but customers say not at the level they'd like. People are complaining that the RGJ hasn't consistently delivered their newspaper in years.
Joyce Allen says for the past year-and-a-half, the newspaper carrier hasn't regularly delivered a newspaper.
"It’s absolutely horrible that you don’t get something you’re paying for, that you have been paying for, that you depend on," Allen said.
She's been a customer for 40 years.
"Being a retired realtor I like to keep up with what’s going on in the neighborhood. And around the area," she said. "There’s some thing about having a cup of coffee, opening the paper."
Her small dog Lucy used to run out of the house and retrieve the paper for Allen. Recently the dog has been missing her morning routine.
"She wanders around looking for it," she said.
Upset customers have taken to social media and the Nextdoor app to complain about inconsistent deliveries.
“For 6 months we never knew when we would get a paper,” one person wrote.
Another said "We pay them money for a paper and the RGJ is obligated to deliver it.”
“My 90-year-old father depends on the paper being delivered. He does not have and iPhone or a computer. He pays $87 a month ( with tip)," said another person.
Peggy Santoro, the RGJ's executive editor said nobody was available for an on camera interview for our story.
She said in an emailed statement: "Labor shortages are impacting our business and we are diligently working to fill open routes to ensure newspapers are delivered on time to subscribers in the Reno area. We are actively recruiting carriers and, in some cases, have secured staff from other markets outside of the geographic vicinity to mitigate the issue. We sincerely hope our subscribers understand the situation and visit us regularly on our digital platforms, as well as access our digital newspaper replica, the eNewspaper. We know this is frustrating and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. We are committed to rectifying this matter and serving our loyal readers."
Santoro also said their printing press is in Chico, California. That's a three hour drive from Reno. When the roads close in the winter — which it did so many times this year — newspapers don't make it to Reno on time.
"It’s frustrating and it’s also sad. This is a nice city, we need to have a decent newspaper," said Sue Alesevich. "Newspapers can go more in depth. There’s so much more you can put in a newspaper. TV you just have a few minute spots."
Alesevich pays about $30 a month. She said the RGJ's delivery started to become sporadic about two to three months ago. She said she's called several times for refunds when her paper isn't delivered.
"I stopped calling, it wasn't worth it," she said.
Many customers say the refund is only a few pennies off the cost of the paper that would be $3.50 if you bought it in the store during the week and $4.50 on Sundays. Customers say they're getting reimbursed 19 and 20 cents when they call and complain when the RGJ doesn't deliver a newspaper.
Santoro said she encourages customers to contact their customer service if they're experiencing delivery issues at 1-800-970-7366 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The company is also hiring carriers. People can contact 775-788-6267 and email: email@example.com or visit www.gannett.com/deliver to apply.