Hearne: Is the KC Star ‘Extorting’ Subscribers? You Decide

extortionRemember 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.

I digress.

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.

There’s more.

greed, businessman with money. man holding dollars in display of avarice isolated on white.

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.

Smart, huh?

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.



This entry was posted in Hearne_Christopher and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Hearne: Is the KC Star ‘Extorting’ Subscribers? You Decide

  1. Feto says:

    Because of Jim’s comment the other day I called the Star regarding my 33 year subscription. After threatening to cancel they offered to lower my 3 month payment from $85 to $80. Not good enough I said. Ok, countered the Indian customer service rep who I could barely understand, how about $75? Finally cancelled the left wing rag but they have still delivered the paper every day since. What a big CF the KC Star has become.

    • admin says:

      Sounds like the ultimate discount…

      I let my subscription lapse quite by accident late last summer/early fall and I’m afraid that you readers have suffered the consequences.

      And looking at it now from time to time, I’m having a hard time convincing myself to get back in the game (what game?)

      But I undoubtedly will.

      Enough oldsters have bit the dust that there has to be enough new blood to breath a bit of new life into the corporate cadaver. Or is there?

      I think I can handle the six months plan…you know, financially

  2. Jim a.k.a. BWH says:

    Hey HC, thanks for the ink. I don’t mind being wrong, but sure hate to be DEAD wrong. I’ve stopped and restarted my subscription so many times I’ve lost count. This isn’t the result of any beef I have with the Star. It’s because I can’t seem to get a carrier that strives to be at least 80% on-time/accurate with my delivery. Each time I restart it, I get whatever deal they have going. So, I wouldn’t say I’m DEAD wrong. I think it would be more accurately described as “on life support” wrong.

    $648.93 a year? I spend more than that on coffee & Ice tea at QT annually. Big woop.

    Ready for some arithmetic? 313 daily papers at QT is $313 ($1/each). 52 Sunday papers at QT is $104 ($4/each). That’s $417.00 (and change) annually for the Star.

    All this angst towards the Star cannot be good for your blood pressure, buddy. Let it go. Let. It. Go.

    • admin says:

      No angst whatsoever, Brutha Jim…

      I’m just keeping an eye out for the folks, and trying to adds some news and infotainment wherever I can…you know, so can keep you, Stomper, Harley and Paul Wilson properly lubricated intellectually.

      (That too effeminate for ya?)

  3. John Altevogt says:

    Anyone who knows how to use the various incognito features of their browsers can get The Star for free (and I still don’t waste time reading it). Why anyone would pay $90 a year (much less any other period of time) is beyond me.

    I also find it cute that anyone who criticizes what amounts to little more than a shill for the metro area’s corrupt establishment is deemed to have a problem despite the fact that these apologists never seem to have a rational, or logical response to the substantive critiques leveled at The Star.

Comments are closed.