NY Times raising its newsstand price

Ashley Milne-Tyte Aug 15, 2008

NY Times raising its newsstand price

Ashley Milne-Tyte Aug 15, 2008


Tess Vigeland: Here’s one more item that costs more these days. The daily newspaper. Readers of the New York Times — at least those who still buy it in dead tree form — are bracing themselves. At least those who still buy it in dead tree form. The paper’s newsstand price goes up by a quarter on Monday, to $1.50. We hear so much about declining newspaper circulation and readers’ migration to the Internet, not to mention the lean economic climate, so how does “All the News That’s Fit to Print” fit into that storyline? Ashley Milne-Tyte reports.

Ashley Milne-Tyte: Kevin Elston buys the New York Times every weekday for guests at the Capital Grille, the restaurant where he works on 42nd Street.

Milne-Tyte: Did you know that the price was going up on Monday?

Kevin Elston: Again?

The Times upped its price just a year ago. Elston isn’t a fan of the Times’s editorial stance. But he’ll keep buying it because his customers expect him to have it in the restaurant.

Elston: You know it’s definitely part of the culture here in New York. It’s still for better or for worse the paper of record.

The New York Times doesn’t consider itself a regular newspaper. It covers local, national and international news, at length. Its readers are generally well off and well educated. Media analyst Edward Atorino is with the Benchmark Company.

Edward Atorino: The Times believes it has by far and away the premiere brand newspaper in the county if not the world. It has an extremely loyal audience. And it believes those loyal readers will be willing to pay more for their beloved New York Times.

Media consultant Peter Kreisky is one of those loyal readers. He says he balks at the subscription price, but he keeps paying because he’s addicted to the paper’s coverage.

Peter Kreisky The New York Times stands alone with a very, very small number of world-class news sources, like the BBC or like CNN.

Still, the Times daily circulation was down 3.8 percent for the six months ended March 31. Edward Atorino says raising prices is the latest in a string of tactics to offset falling ad revenue and the rising cost of newsprint.

Atorino: They’ve trimmed the size of the paper, they’ve actually on some days reduced content, for example, they don’t carry the stock tables.

The Times has also laid off reporters this year. The paper’s chief executive said last month, she expects the rest of the year to be tough if the economy stays in the doldrums.

In New York, I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

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