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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