FORK IT OVER! $120 Per Year to Read Courier-Post Online (and Print Subscription Rates Also Rising)

Why isn't the Courier-Post explaining itself to South Jersey consumers? Here email addresses for the top bosses so you can ask them yourself.

The higher-ups at "South Jersey's newspaper" haven't responded to my emails seeking more information on their new pricing scheme, but they are already asking you to start paying for their coverage (or lack thereof).

Despite the dozens of reporters, editors and other South Jersey neighbors the Courier-Post has laid off in the past several years, along with months worth of unpaid leaves of absence forced on employees—action that left many workers with no option but to tap the already dry state unemployment fund—the company has decided their online product is now so vital that you can only read it if you pay for it.

And furthermore, they have decided subscribers must pay for online service even if they don't want it.

Looking for Internet-only access? For all the website, mobile device and e-newsletter action you used to get for free, you're now going to have to spend $10 per month or $120 per year (or go to your local Patch site, Philly.com/SouthJersey, the Burlington County Times, the Gloucester County Times/South Jersey TimesNJ.com's county-by-county coverage, The Retrospect (requires subscription), the Barrington Bulletin or any of a number of other publications filled with local news).

Of course, you can get online access bundled with home delivery. For the same $10 per month, you can get online and the Sunday newspaper. Or, for $14 per month you can get Thursday-Sunday in print along with online access. And the final option is $21 per month for full week home delivery coupled with online access.

Print only? Sorry—no such option exists.

The C-P bosses have managed to make apples-to-apples comparisons difficult. According to this page (warning, clicking on that link will count as reading an article on the Courier's site, and you only get so many free reads before you are locked out), the newspaper didn't offer Sunday-only subscriptions as of last year. And the weekend subscription was Friday through Sunday (instead of Thursday through Sunday, as now offered).

But here's the basic comparison:

Preferred reading method ---- Before paywall -- after payway

Online only ---- Free -- $120 per year

Sunday only ---- $78/year (newsstand) -- $120/year (home delivered)

Weekend only ---- $117.36/yr (Fri-Sun) -- $168/yr (Thur-Sun)

All week ---- $200.88/yr -- $252/yr

One might think a profession that historically has pushed for greater transparency to ensure average citizens were as informed as possible might, itself, want to be transparent regarding its reasons for raising prices.

Sadly, that doesn't seem to be the case.

If you'd like to talk to those in charge at the site, email Managing Editor Leon Tucker at ltucker@gannett.com or interim publisher Ellen Leifeld at eleifeld@gannett.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Mark Correa November 24, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Ah, yes ... I definitely remember Vandelay being a regular on the C-P boards.
William Tracy November 25, 2012 at 04:33 AM
I've been getting the Inquirer on Kindle for $5 month for a couple of years now. They've raised the price to $10, I guess for new subs. I'm still paying $5.
Occupant November 25, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Just went to login to the Courier Post forum which I've been on for many years. Now they want $10 a month just to post. No way ...
Adam Adams December 23, 2012 at 04:44 PM
I know someone who was laid off from the Courier. They are being extremely foolish. The only people who read print this days are either over 60 or have tons of free time and or cash. Didn't they learn from the failed experiment at USA Today doing paid online subscriptions? The writing is on the wall. Advertisers will be fleeing like rats on a sinking ship when they see the results of readership loss.
Ben December 23, 2012 at 06:39 PM
South Jersey Political Boss George Norcross (Star-Ledger) "we said to Harry, wait a second, JCA was going to be the engineer of record. I don’t care about your f—— review process"..." I sat him down and said ' [Assemblyman Conaway] Herb, don’t f-- with me on this one. You know, don’t make nice with Joe Doria cause I’ll tell you if you ever do that and I catch you one more time doing it, you’re gonna get your f--king balls cut off.' He got the message."- George Norcross, FBI Informant recording. As anyone who has watched Boardwalk Empire knows New Jersey has a venal political culture. Things have changed since Nucky Johnson's days, somewhat.But even in darker days it was never the practice of the press to endorse corrupt political bosses - until now courtesy of the Newark Star Ledger: George Norcross, the political boss of South Jersey, has taken his share of knocks over the bare-knuckled game of politics he plays. If there were still smoke-filled rooms in Trenton, he would be at one head of the table opposite Gov. Chris Christie almost every time. But there’s more to the Norcross story. He is making a genuine difference in the lives of impoverished people in Camden, the most desperate corner of this state. And his efforts seem to be growing every year....


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