Boston Herald Jacks Up Newsstand Price by 40%

June 8, 2020

Sharp-eyed commenter Mark sent this heads-up to the hardreading staff today.

Maybe it’s the lack of ads, but did you notice that the newsstand price of The Herald went up to $3.50 last week? $3.50! More than The NY Times, the Globe, and almost as much as the New York Daily News and the New York Post together! Who is going to be so devoted to Howie Carr, yet so undevoted to home delivery or ipad reading, as to pay that much every morning?

(For the single copy price of 3 months of Heralds, you can get home delivery for a year. For less than 3 weeks of single copy Heralds, you can read the e-edition for a year.)

 

The truth is, we hadn’t noticed. When we checked, though, we discovered that a week ago the newsstand price of the costly local tabloid went from this . . .

 

 

. . . to this.

 

(Newsstand prices for both the Boston Globe and the New York Times are $3 weekdays and $6 Sunday, if you’re keeping score at home.)

While the hike might be startling, it’s hardly surprising. Herald ad revenues are increasingly anemic, and print circulation is deep into its death spiral, as the Boston Business Journal’s redoubtable Don Seiffert reported last month.

The Herald’s print circulation was just under 30,000 as of the first quarter of 2020, with more than half of that from single-copy sales at newsstands around and outside the city. That’s down 46% from four years earlier.

 

Eye-popping chart:

And then there’s this, also from Seiffert’s piece. “The size of the Boston Herald has gone from about 240 employees at the end of 2017, before its purchase by MediaNews Group, to just a few dozen today.”

So to summarize: The value proposition at the skimpy local tabloid seems to be something along the lines of The Boston Herald: You give us more, we’ll give you less.

Law of diminishing returns, anyone?


Boston Herald Is Shaking Down Its Home Subscribers

September 14, 2018

As one of the up to several Boston Herald home subscribers, the hardreading staff just received a letter telling us that the costly local tabloid will very soon be even costlier.

Increase-their-nut graf:

The Boston Herald appreciates your readership and hopes you have been enjoying your subscription. This letter will serve as notice that effective 2018-10-04, your new weekly rate will be $11.00 for the subscription term you have selected. As a home delivery subscriber, your subscription includes access to our website and E-edition replica.

 

Quibble #1: The Boston Herald website is free to all.

Quibble #2: Even by our admittedly calcified mathematical skills, the new weekly rate equals $572 per annum. At said Herald website, anyone can subscribe to the print and digital editions for about $250 less.

 

 

Quibble #3: This particular paragraph in the letter.

All home delivery subscriptions will include up to 4 SPECIAL EDITIONS annually. Each SPECIAL EDITION will be between $1.75 to $9.99 depending on the SPECIAL EDITION. If you prefer not to receive these SPECIAL EDITIONS, you must call Customer Service at the number above to OPT OUT. If you do not OPT OUT, the SPECIAL EDITIONS will be automatically billed to your account and your SUBSCRIPTION TERM will be shortened. Subscribers will be charged Sunday rates for Thanksgiving Day home delivery.

 

Smart move, considering that “[r]esearchers have learned that options and services too often falter because they’re designed to depend on people taking some kind of action. Studies show that relying on inaction yields better results,” according to this Association for Psychological Science report.

As our kissin’ cousins at One-Daily Town have diligently chronicled, the Boston Herald’s owner, Digital First Media, is determined to strip the Herald like a car left overnight on the Cross Bronx Expressway.

Apparently, Digital First feels the same way about Herald subscribers.