Wednesday, September 11, 2013

USAT | Zimmerman confirms cover price doubling

In a story late this afternoon, Washington Business Journal has confirmed my post this morning that USA Today plans to boost its cover price to $2 from $1 -- the rate last set in 2008.

The Journal quotes USAT publicist Heidi Zimmerman: "As our costs continued to rise, we held our cover price at $1 well after other national newspapers raised their cover prices. The $2 cover price now has us competitively priced against other national newspapers."

In many markets, The New York Times charges $2.50. And The Wall Street Journal, $2.

21 comments:

  1. Yes, our costs continue to rise with an increasingly bloated mananegement structure.

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  2. Too bad we arent competitive with the Times or the Wall Street Journal. Then again, we arent in their league, are we?

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    1. Sadly - USATS is only competitive with MySpace...

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  3. My understanding is that USAT management is ready for the worst in terms of lost rack sales from the paper's iconic vending machines. They hope the higher price makes up the difference.

    I wonder how long before they round up those TV-shaped vending machines and sell them for scrap?

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  4. I would bet they would lose around 20-25% of their circulation. Who is going to pay $2 for a watered down product? If i want investigative sports news, i'll go to Yahoo and get it for free, or Deadspin. The newspaper industry is dying, if it wasn't for the hotels USA Today would be out of business. Bad management, with no way of increasing readership in the print medium. It's dead, I'd say USA Today will cut most of the worker bees within the next 24 months and be all management, and be completely shut down in 48-60 months. It's dead, put this company out of it's misery.

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    1. 8 quarters in a coin rack for a USAT? When the last increase took place December 8, 2008 coin racks were coming off the street in droves. Think about it, a "good selling rack" for USAT is a coin rack that sales maybe 5 papers. When the price went up in '08 sales dropped off and the rack people began removing the "low sellers" (racks) off the streets like there was no tomorrow. Now it looks like they'll be removing most racks off the streets and even at the airports. It's not that moving the price to $2.00 is a bad thing, it's just that it's bad for circulation and the people who deliver the product. Who knows, maybe we'll pick up the sales at the stores. That should off set the loss with the rack sales, NOT.

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  5. Between the 12 pages and the spheroid logo, nobody will want to waste trees purchasing one day old news/ads. That Business Model ship has clearly sailed.

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  6. When do they stsrt charging for the stale and aggregated web content ?

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  7. "The New York Times charges $2.50. And The Wall Street Journal, $2."

    Just like Gannett to think they are in the same league anymore. People have stopped buying it just hearing about the raise...imagine when it happens!

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  8. Those vending machines should do fine when that dollar coin catches on. Any day now...

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  9. But, we have "pronounced voices" don't we?

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  10. To the corporate trolls/apologists:

    This is just the latest example of the value of this blog. It sniffed out the story and broke it before the company could control the flow of information.

    This is what is called old-fashioned reporting, something that Gannett appears to care less and less about and is willing to sacrifice to meet the latest quarter's bottom-line goals.

    Thus, Gannett papers consistently are getting beat when it comes to news about themselves or their corporate owner. The sale of the former Detroit Free Press building is just another example.

    That's sad. But I guess it should be no surprise, given the erosion of reporting talent at Gannett and the corporate leadership's wall of silence.

    Jim, keep up the good work. There are many of us who appreciate it.

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    3. Stupid post. Of course, Jim keeps it despite his alleged policy about referring to others as "trolls."

      Jim. He's dumb. Not getting any smarter.

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    4. You should be praising the Washington Business Journal. It got confirmation from a named, credible source. Jim just had rumors, as always.

      Congratulations, Washington Business Journal, for doing old-fashioned reporting.

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    5. Of course, 7:24, the WBJ already knew about the looming price increase when it asked Gannett for comment. Gannett, realizing the cat was out of the bag, belatedly confirmed it.

      In the not-so-long-ago days, we called that a 'folo' -- something that any self-respecting journalist hated to do because it meant he/she got beat.

      Now, imagine if the Washington Post had a policy of waiting for on-the-record confirmation -- Watergate would have remained a 'third-rate burglary'.

      Regardless of how you phrase it, 7:24, Jim had the scoop.

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  11. Talk about the nail in the coffin. With the kind of lame, error-riddled content USAT is offering in recent years, why the heck would the suits think they could charge that amount for a paper that is no longer journalistically competitive with the NYT? I mean look at the sloppy design of that rag? It looks like some free paper that's thrown in your driveway once a week.

    Wonder what the staff is feeling knowing that circulation is going to suddenly plummet once the price is doubled? Anyone dusting off resumes or will most just roll with the punches? Any suspicions of more layoffs or buyouts coming in preparation for this price hike?

    Truly amazing how USAT was once the paper most everyone in Gannett aspired to work for. It had the reputation of doing things the right way in a company that was littered with bad papers cutting corners and driving under-paid staffers into the ground. Boy, how the times have changed, and it appears to me, most of the damage done at USAT was self inflicted. Too many people with idiotic ideas rising into power at just the wrong time. A perfect storm at the worst possible time.

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    1. Passed over for promotion at Gannett, huh? Maybe you'll get over it someday.

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  12. I was just at the car dealer, having my vehicle serviced. Thank god I had a book in the car. I hadn't read the daily Gannett newspaper yet, but all the dealership had on the table was USA Today. WTF?! Nothing on the front page lured me in, and there's no way I would pay a dollar, let alone two dollars! for that rag!

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    1. Did you rush here breathlessly to tell us all about this? Hahahahaha! What a sad, small person you must be!

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