In a letter dated Wednesday November 7th, Chris Christian told with readers they will be automatically charged an additional 69 cents per week for the newspaper’s new E-Star online content. Whether they want it, use it or not.
Put another way, that’s about $36 a year times 183,000 weekday subscribers or a little more than $6.5 million a year.
Kinda puts the 69 cents figure in perspective, huh?
But nowhere in the letter does it specifically point to an opt out path for subscribers.
Which would have been nice since an untold number of the Star‘s aging print readership probably has little if any interest in its new online options.
On top of that, six of the newspaper’s longtime, regular features will now be billed extra to subscribers at the rate of $2 a pop. Features like its “Football Preview” and”Summer Planner” special sections.
Subscribers will be billed even for snoozers like and the “Personal Finance Guide,” “Consumer Technology” and “Kansas City Food” sections.
And of course, who could forget the Thanksgiving Day newspaper. Which the Star explained a couple years back would cost extra because they’d sold so many ads it cost more to print and deliver.
So much for the concept of the ad revenue paying the freight. Now readers have to pay extra to subsidize the advertising content.
As Bill Clinton might say, let’s do the math.
That’s another $2, 200,000 for the “extra” sections that used to be free.
Bringing the grand total of the Star‘s money grab to around $9 million a year.
Again, with no reference to subscribers of how to opt out of any or all of the six special sections.
For the record, subscribers can call the newspaper’s Customer Service Department at 877-962-7826, Monday through Friday between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. and haggle over the added new costs.
May the force be with you!