St. Pete Times to increase price Monday up to 50 cents daily at newsstand, $4 a week for 7-day subscription
Six weeks after the St. Petersburg Times slimmed down its weekday editions, the newspaper will increase prices for both newsstand copies and home delivery subscriptions, raising the weekday-and-Saturday single copy charge to 50 cents and the 7-days-a-week home delivery charge to $4 a week.
Readers will learn of the change in editors notes printed in Saturday's newspaper. The cause: the continuing economic challenges facing every newspaper these days, including increased newsprint prices, dropping advertising revenue and rising fuel costs.
The home subscription increase is an average increase of about 39 cents a week for 7-days-a-week service (lower for weekend only and Sunday only deals), totaling $20.28 more each year. The single copy increase is a 15-cent hike from current levels in St. Petersburg; the single copy charge on Sunday will increase to $1 in Citrus and West Pasco, but will stay at 50 cents in Hillsborough, Central and East Pasco for competitive reasons.
The St. Petersburg Times' newsstand price has often been considered low for a paper of it's size and quality. According to a Washington Post story citing figures from the Newspaper Association of America, the median daily price for newspapers has been 50 cents for a decade and 81 percent of daily newspapers charged 50 cents per copy in 2005. The Post raised its newsstand price to 50 cents on Dec. 31.
According to material collected by the Times from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the increase will leave the Times tied with the Ft. Myers News Press as the second most expensive 7-day home subscription rate in Florida, behind the Naples Daily News' $4.69 per week, but slightly above the Orlando Sentinel's $3.95 per week, the Miami Herald's $3.54 per week and the Tampa Tribune's $2.94 per week.
This change is part of the newspaper's ongoing drive to increase revenue while weathering the worst newspaper recession in 30 years. Not that I need to encourage you, blog buddies, but feel free to sound off about the changes here -- I forwarded many of your comments about our latest page reductions to top editors here for their perusal.