Gene Weingarten to Washington Post Subscribers: “You Didn’t Hear This From Me…”

Q. What will $637 get you?
Gene, I have a tough decision to make, that I hope you can help with. First some background information. I really like to read the newspaper. When I was growing up, my father always had a newspaper delivered to the house. On Sundays he got two newspapers. Remember when you actually paid the paper boy for your newspapers? Some crazy amount like $1.15. And for that you got a small blue square of paper back as your receipt. For years I got both the daily and Sunday post. Then about ten years ago we stopped the daily papers and just subscribed to the Sunday post. (It’s a coupon thing.) Last year my wife bought me a daily and Sunday year subscription for WaPo at a discount. I’ve really enjoyed reading the daily paper again. I didn’t realize how much I missed it. Sure you can read the news on-line, but there’s something about holding and folding a newspaper. You can take a newspaper anywhere and read it without needing a WiFi connection. And forget doing crosswords on-line. It’s just not the same. Post continued on A-7. Which brings me to my dilemma. It’s time to renew my WaPo subscription. After so many years of not paying for a full subscription, I was surprised at how much it costs. I’m not sure I can justify forking over that much dough. I realize that this is the DC Metro area, and most people spend more annually on their Starbucks latte then they do for a newspaper subscription. But I’m not rich, and I don’t drink coffee. So what am I supposed to do? Convince me Gene, that by renewing my subscription I’m doing the right thing. As much as I enjoy holding, folding, and reading the newspaper, I’m not sure it’s worth that much money. That’s a hell of a lot of coupon cutting.

Q. Value of $637
I have children in the house, and I like having the hard copy Post around because they do read a bit of it sometimes. So there’s one element of the value, for some households.
A: I have always hypothesized that there is a bottom in sales that newspapers will hit, and not go below.  The number of dog-owner subscribers.


  1. Bambi Nicklen says:

    $60 a month for home delivery of the Washington Post?

  2. Bambi, I renewed the Washington Post for a year in May–the cost was $702.78, or $58,57 a month. I also get the New York Times delivered on Sundays–the Sunday Times costs $41.34 every four weeks, or $537.42 a year.

    I walk our golden retriever every morning and night so, as Weingarten suggests, dog owners do appreciate having plenty of those plastic bags.

  3. Paul Dickson says:

    Jack, All my neighbors now pay $99 a year for the Post because I had them call up. Call and say you need the lowest rate and you will get the $99 a year deal. I have told a friend at the Post about this and he was stunned. Apparently the employee rate was around $400 a year. One of my neighbors who is almost 90 introduces me as the man who saves her $600 a year.

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