Asimov Resurrected

An anonymous reader of Salt in Wound sent me this update on the Isaac Asimov Super Quiz situation. She so wished to remain anonymous that she wouldn’t even post this as an anonymous comment.

Q: What quiz is returning?

A: Isaac Asimov’s Super Quiz returns to the Times Union comics pages on Monday, Jan. 21.

by M. Monica Bartoszek, Senior editor/operations

We’ve certainly received many very thoughtful letters, calls and e-mails. Until we heard from you, we had no idea that families and co-workers were gathering to do the quiz, and this was a daily ritual. (Co-workers, we hope this is on your lunch break …) We didn’t hear from you when we asked for input in a late fall survey. Our features department made the change about 2 weeks ago after publicly inviting all of our readers in print and online to participate in an online survey. The quiz ranked second to the bottom in reader interest, but obviously the Super Quiz fans didn’t participate in the survey. Only the weekly Saturday soap opera round up ranked lower (and that was eliminated, too). Many of you that I spoke with said they hadn’t seen the survey. (It was on the cover of the Life section several times over several weeks) To bring back the quiz, we will again be trimming Dear Abby and the horoscope column. Several readers suggested we drop the bridge column (which can not be trimmed given its content). We did that in 2007, but that caused an uproar with the bridge players. It’s tough to introduce new comics or any new feature if you can’t lose something (and, no, we’re not able to add more space or pages)...I think an underlying message here is, if you see a Times Union reader survey, take a few minutes to let us know what you value and enjoy reading.

I think the underlying message is that surveys are rarely representative.

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