Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Tip: USA Today raising cover price to $1

Updated. I'm now told the price increase would be effective on Monday, Dec. 8.

A tipster says Publisher Craig Moon has decided to move ahead with a 33% price increase, to $1, sometime in December: "This plan has been sitting on the table for a while, just waiting for Moon to pull the trigger." Any USAT move would follow 50% hikes at as many as 20 other Gannett papers, in August.

Can anyone confirm -- and add details? Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.


  1. There are plenty of other Gannett properties that will be raising their daily single copy prices to 75 cents very soon, in the fourth quarter of 08. The first 20 were so called "test" properties. And don't forget about the mandatory home delivery price increases as well, up at least 10% or more across the board !!!

  2. Saw a $.75 sticker on a SC rack in Nashville today for the first time. It may have been out there a while but this is the first time I noticed one.

  3. Our paper raised the price to 75 cents in August and has seen a 6-7 percent drop in sales. USA going to a dollar will most maybe sound their begging of their death spiral.

  4. The Web is free people.

    It is not worth getting ink pigment on your hands.

  5. Does anyone have any info on the possibility of more USAT buyouts or layoffs by the end of the year? With the price of the paper possibly going up, the xmas party nixed for the first time ever and the economy crashing, it seems likely that more cuts are coming. I can accept the harsh reality of cuts, but I can't accept the lack of fair warning. I wish the suits would give us a heads-up, even if just in general terms. People need time to prepare mentally, emotionally and financially about the possibility of losing their jobs. Even the people who don't lose their jobs have to make decisions about whether they want to stay behind in what will surely be a stressful environment. Giving employees just a week or two to decide on a buyout, or even less time if it's a layoff, isn't just a Gannett-thing. Unfortunately, it's a Corporate America thing. One of the many big business things that is immoral. I hope USAT bosses will be more thoughtful and considerate with whatever is coming. I hope lower-end bosses will be more frank with their staffs and help prepare them now, before the next crisis.

  6. It's been 75 cents for several years.

  7. 9:14: People need time to prepare mentally, emotionally and financially about the possibility of losing their jobs.

    Aren't we prepared? I mean, we all know we could get laid off. I've seen people on this board write that they already know they'd take a buyout if it's offered again. We may not know when layoffs will happen or if they'll happen for sure, but we certainly can prepare ourselves. The company has operating continuity plans; we should have one for ourselves, too.

    I've got two job interviews already this month.

  8. True, 9:38, we should be prepared. But on the other hand, there are various life complications that sometimes get in the way of the best laid plans. As a friend of mine who recently suffered the loss of a child said, life is what happens when you think you're prepared and planning.

    I agree with 9:14... USAT managers can't pretend on one hand to have our best interests at heart, or at least profess to be open and truthful, but on the other hand hide information that directly impacts our lives. I too would like more of a heads up. I don't want to come to work and find a buyout envelope or pink slip on my keyboard without at least some prep. As much as one thinks they will be prepared for that, it's very hard to sort through various feelings when it becomes a reality.

    A little more of a warning would help both on an emotional level and logistically. Sure, we can have job interviews lined up. We can update resumes and not lock into a costly January vacation quite yet. We can save our pennies and go light on Christmas gifts this year. Still, we have to come to work every day until we're told not to come anymore. And coming to work, amidst all these rumors and silence from the top is very difficult. I believe more dialogue would be appropriate in this climate, whether there are going to be cuts or not. I don't see how it could hurt, and it may help a bunch of people cope in a more constructive manner.

    Yea, we could read the tea leaves and make choices based on speculation. I, however, feel it would be better if the folks that run USAT would just tell us what they know. We're adults. We can handle it. It angers me to hear certain managers say they know nothing when you know they have a pretty good idea of how things will play out. Easy for them to prepare. Not so easy for the rest of us.

    This blog lives because of Gannett's horrible track record of poor communication. You would think they would wise up, but then again, we live in an era of $400,000 spa visits for AIG execs who just received a government bailout. Something has to change dramatically with corporations and top management. It could start by simply having a more transparent work environment.

  9. I don't get the subscription price increases at all. In the face of a sagging economy, car manufacturers and those who sell other products are offering incentives to keep buying.

    Our solution is to make the product more expensive at the same time that we're cutting back on size and content?

    At least we're being innovative, right? I don't see many others using this approach.

  10. How about the reason there's been no "heads-up" about layoffs is that there is nothing to give a heads-up about?

    What a loony bin this place is sometimes.

  11. As a non-USAT Gannett employee, I think the transparency applies to more than just layoffs. Communication from the top about everything is very poor, even good news. At the properties that I've worked at, the real communication has relied on rumor-mongering managers or sheer speculation among employees. I understand the need to keep certain business initiatives under wraps, but much of the stuff I've seen - such as firing an entire department at 5 o'clock on Friday with no prior discussion - just seems cruel.

  12. 10:46 are you kidding me? every company in america raises prices when costs go up ...look at milk, bread, gasoline. Geez....been shopping lately? As wheat, corn and other commodities rose, so did groceries. Copmpanies also cut advertising and staff to offset the costs of business. Its economics 101.
    The consumer is used to higher prices on everything.

    get real.

    If you see management raising cover prices, its to offset the loss of revenue.

  13. I think it's long overdue for USAT. Now, for the crap paper that I worked for that raised prices, I say that's ridiculous. Anyone have any information on what that price hike did to numbers?

  14. It would be a very good move at USA Today and still a value. What else can you buy for $1.00 that gives you as much pleasure as reading a morning paper? sorry, the web gives me info for free but the experience cannot compare to a hot cup of coffee and the morning newspaper. And for only a buck?! still a value.
    No I am not 80 years old. I am 34.

  15. 9:14: Don't be thinking - you better start planning and taking action on getting out NOW before the ship sinks.


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.