Much changed in 12 yearsPublished 1:58am Saturday, October 13, 2012
The date was Sat., Jan. 20, 2001. Jim Morgan, then-publisher of The Star-News, headlined his weekly column “Farewell to the Clinton Years.” At The Star-News we were also bidding farewell to our $88 annual subscription rate. The following Tuesday, we introduced our annual rate of $95.04 for an in-county subscription.
Much has changed since that January of 2001, when gas was $1.52 per gallon. We’ve elected two presidents. Three thousand Americans lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. We’ve had to fight and finance two wars in the Middle East. Devastating hurricanes, most notably Ivan and Katrina, slammed our Gulf Coast, leaving paths of death and debris in their wake. There was an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that brought oil production to a halt and severely crippled numerous local economies. And we’ve witnessed the worst financial crisis this country has seen since The Great Depression.
Production costs for newspapers have increased dramatically over the past 12 years, with expenses ranging from 20 percent to 57 percent higher than 12 years ago. Delivery costs have gone up dramatically. Yet, through all of these overwhelming events and circumstances, our rates have remained stable. Customers have been able to subscribe to The Star-News for a year, or 262 editions, at the unchanging price of $95.04.
During this time, we have trimmed budgets, reduced staff and streamlined the production end of our operation. We’ve done all of the things that any small business would do to avoid passing on our increasing costs to our customers. What business do you know of that hasn’t raised its prices the last decade?
Almost 12 years later, on Nov. 1 of this year, we will again take the necessary step of increasing our annual subscription cost. The new rates are $104.54 ($99.79 for seniors), and represent a10 percent increase for the convenience of having the newspaper delivered to your home each day.
However, there is a silver lining that will hopefully ease the sting. For the remainder of October, you will be able to renew your subscription for a year at the old price of $95.04 ($90.72 for seniors).
We know this move will not be a popular one, but hopefully you can agree that we have postponed the inevitable for a long time.
We value the continued business and loyalty that you have shown us through the years, and in return we will strive to continue to bring you the best local news and information in Covington County.
Jeff Moore is circulation manager of The Star-News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.