Newspapers Want To Charge Subscribers Extra To Receive Black Friday Ads

If your household still receives a daily or Sunday newspaper, take pity on your neighborhood’s paper carrier. It’s hard work to haul the ad-stuffed Thanksgiving editions of the paper to subscribers’ doorsteps. Still, that probably isn’t what papers like the Chicago Tribune and Detroit Free Press had in mind when they announced that they’ll be charging subscribers an extra dollar or two for the privilege of receiving a bunch of ads.

No. We are not making this up. Jim Romenesko has the story, and these two Midwestern papers probably aren’t the only ones that have thought of it so far.

tribpremium

The Tribune frames the Thanksgiving paper as a “Premium Issue,” for which they will charge “an additional fee up to $2.00” to subscribers’ bills. Again, they’re calling this paper a “premium issue” even though the majority of the extra content is advertisements. That companies pay the newspaper for.

The Detroit Free Press, meanwhile, wants to charge subscribers the newsstand rate, which subscribers tell Romenesko is $1 more than the price subscribers would normally pay for that extra-large Thanksgiving paper.

The good news for subscribers who like to complain (and you’re reading Consumerist, so that’s probably you) is that both papers say that they’ll waive the fee for any subscribers who notice the problem and call the paper up to complain. So that’s nice. Everyone else, apparently, is on their own.

DEAR NEWSPAPERS: SUBSCRIBERS DON’T WANT TO PAY EXTRA FOR BLACK FRIDAY COUPONS [Romenesko] (Thanks, Joe!)