Retiree Rob Black lives in an upscale but not wildly affluent suburb of Kansas City and has subscribed to The Kansas City Star since he moved to town in 1970. So it was a rude shock in July when he received a bill raising his renewal rate by 27 percent to $846.66 a year.
Surely that was a mistake, Black recalls telling the sales rep he reached by phone. Could he negotiate a lower rate? At least to the $600-something his neighbor was paying? No and no, the rep replied, and home delivery stopped within days.
It took some checking over a period of a month, but three sources confirmed to me that Black was on the receiving end of a peculiar new circulation strategy, which one called „reverse redlining.“
At the Star and 29 other McClatchy papers, longtime core subscribers, especially in higher income ZIP codes, are being hit with big renewal rate increases.
Some will cancel, the theory goes, but many will shrug and send in a check. So the practice works out to a net revenue gain for the company.
Gibt es das schon in Deutschland? Wahrscheinlich nicht, oder? Spannendes Experiment, auch wenn es mir sehr überzogen erscheint. 63 Euro im Monat für eine Lokalzeitung? Puh. Das ist in etwa das, was eine Süddeutsche Zeitung kostet. Die anderen Titel sind eher in der Region von 40 Euro, auch wenn ich keine Preis-Statistik finden konnte.
(Zahlen für das verbrauchte Zeitungsdruckpapier schon.)