Journalism

Would You Pay Triple for Your Paper?

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Some subscribers of the Chicago Tribune face a steep price increase for home delivery. The paper is, in some cases, doubling or even tripling the subscription rates when customers’ current term expires.

ChicagoBusiness.com reported last month that the paper had sent letters to some of its customers alerting them to the changing price structure. It also reported that the change followed the paper’s decision over the summer to add 40 pages of additional content each week.

This increased content added an estimated 8% to the company’s printing expenses.

But some customers, naturally, aren’t pleased.

Jim Romenesko tells the story of one dissatisfied subscriber who claims his 13-week, seven-day subscription is jumping from $42.25 to about $95. That’s a 124% increase.

“One hardly knows where to begin, but either this is a form of corporate suicide, or sheer stupidity, or a plan to get rid of most the paper’s home subscribers (but why would that be thought a good idea?).”

The customer makes a good point about those who signed up for the auto-pay option, and who may not immediately notice the change. (Unless it comes out of their checking account rather than a credit card, in which case it could cause them to overdraft their account and cost them additional banking fees.)

How much is too much of a jump in fees for you? We all know newspapers are struggling as more and more customers go online — even to online versions of their same local newspapers. But would you play twice the price to keep the paper edition of your local newspaper?

Triple?

Or have you already stopped subscribing?

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.

5 Comments

  • My local newspaper, the Hartford Courant, charges $90.87 for 13 weeks and I give a $1 a week tip to the delivery person

  • I think the increase does sound outrageous initially but with the addition of 40 pages of new content I might think it was worthwhile. It depends on if I feel that new content is of value, for one thing.

    If my local paper doubled its fees, I might continue to subscribe. It really depends on if I feel I’m getting value for my money.

    I should mention that I no longer get my local paper. The small city south of here has a paper that is so small during the week that it might be 5 or 6 pages. It is poorly written and often inaccurate.

    There is another paper from a larger city nearby that I used to subscribe to but don’t anymore. It is a morning paper and it used to arrive well before I left for work in the morning. I used to enjoy reading it while sipping my morning coffee. At one point, they changed their delivery schedule and could no longer get it to me before I left for work. By the time I get home from work, it is mostly old news to me (as I keep up on the news online throughout the day) so I decided to cancel my subscription. I can catch the local news on the evening newscast on TV if I want to see what is going on.

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