Although the closing of the Rocky Mountain News was an unfortunate development for the city in general, at least its disappearance seemed sure to save a double subscriber like me some big bucks. But no: Yesterday, I received a card in the mail that read as follows:
Notice of change in subscription terms:
Dear Michael Roberts,
The closing of the Rocky Mountain News means there is a change in your subscription, as you used to receive our premium dual publication service. Your subscription rate was $170.65 for 48 weeks with an expiration date of 5/22/2009. With the elimination of the Monday through Friday Rocky Mountain News we have extended your expiration date to 6/14/2009 and adjusted your rate to $133.95.
We hope you will be pleased to find many of your favorite Rocky columnists and writers will now be in The Denver Post. In addition, the Post will also be incorporating all of the Rocky's comic and many of its puzzles.
Please feel free to contact our customer service department at 303-832-3232.
Now, I've never been a math wizard, but unless I'm very much mistaken, I am now receiving half the number of newspapers per day as I did through February 27, the Rocky's last day. However, I'm only saving $36.70 over the next twelve weeks or so -- money I would have gladly spent if the Rocky still existed. Nevertheless, the $133.95 is a bargain in comparison with what metro dailies cost in many other markets. Moments ago, by way of example, I phoned the Boston Globe to ask how much an annual subscription to that paper cost. The answer: $408.
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Reports about the financial condition of the Post and its owner, MediaNews Group, suggest that subscription charges will have to rise, and rise substantially, in the not-too-distant future. But for now, stop griping about how much the newspaper costs. We could have it much, much worse.