This story was updated April 18
Wednesday, April 18 — Subscribers to the Lansing State Journal are trying to understand a letter they have received from publisher Brian Priester.
In short: Home delivery rates are increasing — almost $7 a month more in some instances. Sunday newsstand prices are also doubling from $1.50 to $3, Priester confirmed today, though weekday newsstand prices will remain $1. Both changes take effect May 1.
“It’s truly a new business model for us,” Priester said in an interview today with City Pulse. “Some papers in this state went to delivering three days a week. We opted not to do that and go with a brand new subscription model.”
The price increases will vary based on readers’ subscription schedule. Priester said the subscription changes are not based on a uniform percentage increase. For instance, the new price for seven-day delivery will be $25 a month for subscribers who receive a bill. (Being billed costs more.) It will be $23 a month for customers who pay automatically, up from $16.31 a month now for seven-day-a-week home delivery. That’s a 41 percent increase.
Sunday-only subscribers who pay automatically will see a nearly 35 percent increase in price, from $8.91 to $12, Priester said.
Home delivery rates for Wednesday through Sunday (for those who pay automatically) will increase by 31 percent, from about $13 to $17 a month, Priester said.
With the new rates will come full access to the Journal’s website, which is free now. The Journal recently announced a paywall effective May 1. For those who don’t want a print edition delivered, Priester said it will be $12 a month for access to the digital version of stories. Subscribers not wanting the website will still have to pay the increase, however.
When asked if he has concerns about readers potentially canceling subscriptions in light of the changes, Priester said: “Time will tell on that.”
Special promotional rates will be honored until they expire, as will prepayment. Subscribers will receive a digital edition of the paper delivered by 5 a.m. via email. Subscribers will also be able to read stories on tablets and smart phones.