“Cancel his subscription” wasn’t enough

So that this man can make his point, North Carolina taxpayers — and people with legitimate cases in that state’s courts — are just going to have to put up with a little extra burden:

A News & Observer subscriber is suing the newspaper for cutting staff and the size of the paper.

Keith Hempstead, a Durham lawyer, filed the suit last month in Wake Superior Court. He says he renewed his subscription in May just before the paper announced on June 16 the layoffs of 70 staff members and cuts in news pages.

The paper, he says, is now not worth what he signed up for and therefore the cuts breached the paper’s contract with him….

In a phone interview today, Hempstead, 42, said he could cancel his subscription but filed the suit to make a point.

Hempstead, a former reporter himself at a different paper who says he “loves” the N&O, has duly gotten a fair bit of publicity, certainly more than if he had just sent out a complaining press release or something. (Leah Friedman, “N&O subscriber sues the paper for cutting staff”, News & Observer, Jul. 10).


  • And of course:

    “Hempstead is currently seeking a law firm to take his case, and, he added, he’s not in it for money.”

  • […] Stephen Dubner: if lawyer/subscriber can sue Raleigh News & Observer over perceived decline in its quality, who’s next? [NYT/Freakonomics blog, earlier] […]

  • Assuming he paid at least a dollar for his subscription to the News & Observer, the sub was already worth less than he paid. Talk about a goshawful paper.

  • […] lawyer Keith Hempstead says he’s dropping his suit against the Raleigh News & Observer (Jul. 14, Jul. 20), the one that charged that the paper’s quality had gone downhill because of staff […]