Chattanooga Times Free Press Has Steep Rise In Charge To Customers For Print Newspaper

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Chattanooga Times Free Press has advised customers of a steep rise in the subscription cost.

One custormer said the new monthly price to him will be $23.90. That is up almost $7 per month from the price of $16.99 in January.

Owner Walter Hussman of Arkansas, in an earlier full page in the newspaper, said advertising was not sustaining the newspaper as it once did. He pointed out at the time that subscribers would be asked to pay more.

A memo this week from Circulation Director Carroll Duckworth to customers says, "The Chattanooga Times Free Press is the largest and most comprehensive news source in Southeast Tennessee. Our editorial staff of more than 100 employees works daily to keep our readers informed about what is happening in the tri-state area. We cover 19 counties in three states in addition to maintaining a news bureau in Nashville to cover the state legislature and a bureau in Knoxville to cover UT athletics. Your subscription to the Chattanooga Times Free Press keeps you informed about the local and state events that affect your life. We remain committed to producing a quality news product for our readers.

"For many years newspapers have kept their subscription rates low by relying on a business model that is dependent on advertising to fund 80 percent of the total newspaper's revenues to cover operations. This has been true of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. However, even with above-industry performance, advertising has declined. While advertisers tell us they receive great results from their advertising campaigns with us, there are many more advertising options today than even 10 years ago.

"Regardless of the changes in the business model, we strongly believe a quality, in-depth local product made available through home delivery and now electronic devices 24/7. Some newspapers in the region have reduced the quality and quantity of their products and services. We do not see this approach as an answer to satisfy readers or as a viable business plan for the future. Newspapers, like all businesses, must invest in their products and services to provide needed improvements.

"In order to remain the region's most in-depth news source and provide quality products and services, we must adapt and change. This change will be reflected in the monthly subscription rate that is drafted from your account. Beginning on the first auto draft following March 19, 2014, your new monthly rate will be $23.90. With loyal readers supporting this change, we will continue to improve the quality of our products and services."

The newspaper in May 2010 cost $13 a month.

In January 2005, it was $11.30 a month.


Sign Up To Get The Latest News, Opinions From Chattanoogan.com In Real Time; Win Set Of Chattanooga Photo Books

Sign up for our Facebook and Twitter feeds and you will get the  local news in "real time." You will also be entered for a chance to win the complete set of the Chattanooga Photo Books published by Chattanoogan.com. We will give away three sets of The Remarkable Stokes Collection, Railroads In and Around Chattanooga and Paul Hiener's Historic Chattanooga to our new Facebook ... (click for more)

Wilkins Found With 2 Stolen Vehicles After Homeowner Catches Him In Break-In

Authorities said Jesse Lee Wilkins was found with two stolen vehicles after a resident on Thursday caught him stealing items from his residence on Cave Lane. Wilkins, 29, of 2906 E. 43rd St., was charged with aggravated burglary and two counts of theft over $1,000. When deputies arrived on a burglary call, they found Wilkins and the resident standing in the driveway. He said ... (click for more)

Exempt Volunteer Fire Departments From Procurement Policies - And Response (2)

The Hamilton County Commission just grouped a bunch of departments together in an attempt to reign in the CVB. I haven't spoken to any commissioners, but I truly believe it was unknowingly. By mandating that all non profits that receive 25 percent of their revenue follow county procurement policies, they might as well have padlocked all local volunteer fire departments. We expect ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

I am constantly amazed by the many emails that I receive every day. Quite curiously, I get a heavier load than I would ever have thought because the big search engines on the Internet send my Chattanoogan.com stories far and wide. Even the local ones on the Chattanooga area bring comments and I am deeply flattered. I try to read them and lament I haven’t the time to respond the ... (click for more)

Lookouts Open Second Half Play With 6-1 Win Friday Over Pensacola

LHP Stephen Gonsalves threw seven innings, leading the Chattanooga Lookouts over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in a 6-1 win on Friday night. Rain was in the area, but had no effect on the game. The Lookouts were supposed to begin the second half of their season on Thursday, but rain pushed the game to Friday. Gonsalves was on the mound and had a terrific outing. The left-hander ... (click for more)

Cleveland High School Selects Joey Knox As Head Wrestling Coach

Cleveland High School has selected Joey Knox as the next head coach for the Blue Raider Wrestling program.  Coach Knox has been with the wrestling program as an assistant since 2013.  During his assistant coaching tenure, the team has secured six Team State Championships, including five individual State Champions and 20 State Medalists.    Cleveland High ... (click for more)