Legislator Ed Day (New City-Pomona) today requested that Journal News management consider the impact of the recently announced subscription rates upon local senior citizens, and add a pricing option more conducive to their needs.
“Many seniors have expressed both anger and dissatisfaction to me, both personally and through senior club representatives, with the new pricing structure for home delivery of their newspaper, which has increased by about 20%,” said Legislator Day, adding that “the seeming key issue is their belief that they are bearing an inordinate amount of the price increase by paying for services they may never use.”
A recent mailing and information in the newspaper confirmed that the subscription rate was being increased by about 20% to $25.00 per month, if done via a credit card. The monthly bill price would be $28.00 per month, presumably due to the added cost of invoice handling. The flashpoint is that the Journal News is going to a model that includes a digital service. For many seniors who do not use computers, they look at this as something they do not need and do not wish to pay for. There is also a ”Digital Only” price option of $14 per month, and regardless, digital access for non-subscribers can still be had, but is limited to twenty stories per month.
Legislator Day’s letter to Ms. Janet Hasson, President and Publisher of the Journal News, stated that the “price increase of this magnitude has a disparate impact on seniors, many of whom are on fixed incomes” and detailed some of the concerns brought to his attention. He suggested that in addition to the “Digital Only” option, a “Print Delivery Service” only option also be considered. He suggested that pricing should be at an amount lower than the two monthly full service options of $25 and $28.“As I said in the letter to Ms. Hasson, there may be no simple answer to this, but I am sure she would agree with my belief that it is important to keep our seniors both informed and engaged in life here in the Hudson Valley. I believe we need to recognize the financial challenges that face so many of our senior citizens, and to tailor a business and marketing strategy that is inclusive of their needs. After all, they have earned at least that one consideration, and I am hopeful that the management team at the Journal News can find a way to better accommodate our seniors,” concluded Legislator Day.