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Friday, October 26, 2012

Coping with the higher cost of newspapers

Posted By on Fri, Oct 26, 2012 at 12:16 PM

WHAT'LL YOU GIVE? Negotiating subscription terms.
  • WHAT'LL YOU GIVE? Negotiating subscription terms.

WHATLL YOU GIVE? Negotiating subscription terms.
  • WHAT'LL YOU GIVE? Negotiating subscription terms.
We've commented before that it's hard to get a fix on the price of an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette subscription. Different rates appear different places for different types of service in different areas.

But here's a consumer tip: The price may be as negotiable as a rug in Istanbul.

A friend happened to walk into an office today where a man was on the phone to cancel his subscription to the Sunday-only Democrat-Gazette. The man lives in Little Rock and had been paying $7.95 a month. He gave us a copy of a letter saying his rate was going up effective Nov. 5 to $13.95 a month, a 75 percent increase. The letter noted that newspapers everywhere are raising circulation rates because of declines in ad revenue and that the D-G rates still compare favorably with those in other cities.

Sorry, the subscriber said. Too much.

No problem, the D-G employee on the other end of the line said. We'll extend your subscription for six months at the current rate. No increase.

Moral: Bargain. How can it hurt?

PS — That $13.95 for a Sunday paper and on-line access doesn't look so bad when you consider the newspaper website says a subscription for on-line-only access costs $28 a month. At least that's the sticker price.

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