Remember the expression, less is more?
That’s the polar opposite of the Harlinator, a walking, talking poster child of the More the Merrier school of thought.
The other day one of our comments section regulars, Jim a.k.a. BWH, boasted of paying $90 a year for his Star subscription and included a link to that discounted rate plan.
Just one problem; Jim was dead wrong.
The actual 26 week rate is $94, but for new subscribers only.
Because after 26 weeks, when the honeymoon’s over, the rate skyrockets from $3.62 to $11.99 a week.
Do the math.
That brings the total for a year’s subscription to the Star to $623.48.
A far cry from Jim’s $90 claim.
In the even finer print that Jim seems to have missed, the Star bags readers for an additional “activation fee” of $5.45 plus two bucks each for 10 “special editions” of the newspaper. That includes Thanksgiving Day, in which readers are asked to subsidize a glut of Black Friday insert ads by choking out another couple hundred thousand dollars in subscription charges.
Get readers to pay more money for the additional ads the Star sells. Double dipping, anyone?
That brings the grand total of a year’s subscription to the Kansas City Star to $648.93
Compare that to a scant $200 for a Lawrence newspaper that arguably does a better job covering a smaller market and courtesy of its USA Today section blows the Star away in providing interesting reading on a daily basis.
As for my use of the word, “extortion” – you decide:
Is it reasonable – given that the Star for all its flaws and cutbacks in staffing and news coverage and still has what passes for a local news monopoly – is bagging subscribers for nearly $700 a year?
That’s not exactly a recipe for success, given its cutbacks and the competition…
One definition of extortion: “the crime of obtaining money or something of value by the abuse of one’s office or authority by excessive price.