Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Up, Up and Away

For the second time this year, and in what seems like a counter intuitive move, the Orlando Sentinel hiked the price of its single-copy daily paper to $1. Back in March, the Sentinel increased the price of its single copy daily to 75 cents from 50 cents, according to Editor and Publisher.

If this is true, the Sentinel would have jacked up the single-copy price of the daily paper 100 percent in less than six months. Doesn't seem to make sense at a moment when there's a recession raging, people are losing their jobs and have less money, the Sentinel's news staff has been cut to the bone, news coverage and news pages are dwindling, and so is the paper's circulation (down more than 9 percent in the latest reporting period).

Then again, this is an industry grasping for new cash. As if to confirm it, the New York Times followed suit this week. The newsstand price for the Times' weekday and Saturday editions will go up to $2 effective June 1, up from $1.50. Its Sunday paper will sell for $6. Geesh. That's the second time in less than a year that the Times has pushed up prices.

My take: This move will drive more people to the Internet, where they can read the papers for free. In the end, the newspaper industry is accelerating its own demise.

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