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Get the Free Press for (Almost) Free


Published November 19, 2009 at 11:45 a.m.

If you haven't heard the news, the state's largest daily newspaper is offering a "special introductory rate" for friends and family of Burlington Free Press employees.

The deal?

For the low, low price of $2 you can have the Thursday and Sunday papers delivered to your home (along with the advertising flyers and circulars stuffed inside) for one year. Given the cost to create the content, print and deliver the paper, it sounds like a losing proposition for the Freeps, but quite the deal for readers.

But hurry — the deadline to sign up is tomorrow. We've been told that Free Press staffers will even personally come to your door and collect the $2.

Can't say we blame the Freeps for trying. As Andy Bromage reported a couple of weeks ago, circulation at the Freeps and other daily papers has plummeted over the years.

As of March 31, 2002, the Free Press had a weekday circulation of less than 45,000, and 50,000 on Sundays. The most recent Audit Bureau of Circulation report puts their weekday circ at 33,489 copies weekdays and 42,180 on Sundays.

When I worked there in the early 1990s, the Freeps had a circulation of more than 55,000 on weekdays, and more than 75,000 on Sunday.

Why the "special introductory rate" to just receive the Thursday and Sunday papers? Simple. Those are the biggest advertising days and this will help boost circulation. But they can't just give it away because then it wouldn't count as paid circulation, which is key to advertising rates.

So, if you get a call from a Free Press reporter, or see a staffer in the street today, ask 'em about the special offer.

Photo by Matthew Thorsen.