The other shoe drops (quietly)

Oh, there it is. The news we’ve all been waiting for with — what’s the opposite of bated breath? — from Vermont’s Largest Newspaper.

Starting July 1, the price of home delivery will jump just as precipitously for many customers.

How much appears to vary from household to household.

So reports Paul “The Huntsman” Heintz in this week’s Fair Game column. And he has to say “appears to vary” because the Burlington Free Press has thoughtfully decided to slow-play the bad news.

It’s the opposite of the paper’s approach two years ago when, as Heintz points out, the paper imposed a stiff 31% price hike at the same time as it launched a redesigned slimmer, trimmer, and yet somehow fatter (in terms of margin and type font) newspaper, dubbed by me “the Freeploid.”

Nope. This time, the ‘Loid has published not a word about its loyal readers taking it in the shorts — instead, notifying subscribers by mail.  

Not that I’m in the least bit surprised at the news. The ‘Loid dropped a big fat hint back in January, when it announced the pending addition of USA TODAY “content” to its daily paper.

Asked whether prices would rise for subscribers receiving the extra USA Today content, a Gannett spokesman, Jeremy Gaines, said, “As we introduce enhanced products, consumers tell us they are willing to pay for the added value we’re bringing them.”

And now it’s time to pay the piper for his expanded “content.”

Myself, I’ll be looking closely at my options, and actively consider cutting back to online-only. If other readers follow suit, the Freeploid can kiss some of its relatively robust print-only ad revenue goodbye, as it continues to pursue short-term gains at the expense of long-term viability.  

2 thoughts on “The other shoe drops (quietly)

  1. as I am sure they did many others.

    Unless you have a birdcage to line, or a puppy to housebreak, the addition of USA Today can only be regarded as a recycling liability.

  2. In the free press tomorrow

    no local staff means no local content and they are racing toward that goal at warp speed…

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