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The Trib Raises Prices, Online Content

By Margaret Lyons in News on Dec 17, 2007 9:13PM


You know that thing you never do? Now it will cost another 25 cents if you start to do it. Yes, the Tribune is increasing its newsstand price to 75 cents for Monday-Saturday editions, but the Sunday edition remains $1.79. The memo sent out from Tony Hunter, the Trib's senior vice president of circulation and operations, said:

Starting Monday, December 31, Chicago Tribune will raise its Monday - Saturday newsstand price from 50 cents to 75 cents in the Primary Market Area (PMA). The daily newsstand price increase will be the newspaper's first in more than 15 years. Our newsstand sales represent only 8 percent of daily paid circulation. Our company’s decision to increase the newspaper’s newsstand price was motivated in part by the need to defray some of the rising costs associated with production and distribution. This price increase is also consistent with the pricing trends occurring across the newspaper industry.

There are no plans to change the newsstand price of the Chicago Tribune's Sunday edition, which continues to be priced at $1.79. However, home delivery subscription rates will rise slightly in 2008, while providing an even greater discount from newsstand prices. We've communicated these messages to our readers on page 4 of today's paper.

Chicagoans value Chicago Tribune as a news and information source to help them be informed citizens and smarter consumers. We expect most of our daily single copy readers to continue purchasing the paper at the new price. We’re confident that this move is in the best interest of our company’s overall financial performance, allowing us to continue providing valuable benefits to our customers.

The Trib's daily circulation is 576,132 — and falling. Maybe that's why they launched Chicago Live, which one Trib staffer told us was "like a local YouTube, if you took away the interesting part." So far it just seems incredibly bare to us, but another memo to Trib employees said will also serve our advertisers by offering a new avenue for them to reach the audience they are looking for. Online video is growing by leaps and bounds, and advertisers are looking for ways to take advantage of its interest to web users. will serve that interest and is an exciting new venture that reflects the spirit of Tribune’s transformative change. We look forward to watching it grow and witnessing its success to come.

According to that e-mail, the Trib sites — including Metromix and Chicago Sports — brought in over a billion page views in the 2007 calendar year. Hm, maybe this whole internet thing is catching on....

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