Starting Monday, we are changing some subscription prices of the Lodi News-Sentinel.
Customers who pay annually or who authorize automatic payment by credit card or bank transfer won't see a change. The annual price remains $99 per year and an EZ Pay subscription will remain $8.25 per month.
But other payment plans will increase in price. Those who purchase the fewest months will see the largest price increases.
The price changes will help us cover higher costs of insurance, energy, supplies and other tangible costs of bringing the news to your home. The change will also help cover the rising costs faced by the Sentinel's corps of 130 news carriers.
I also want to let readers know that some of the content on Lodinews.com will soon have a subscription charge. Many other newspapers in America and abroad are abandoning the "free model" online, and we will do that in the coming weeks as well.
Our polling and customer feedback shows that many readers are enjoying free access to the work of our news department, while advertising online is languishing. Our Internet operation is not contributing a fair share to the company's operation. (Those with print subscriptions will see Lodinews.com at no extra charge.)
I realize this is the worst possible time to ask for a sacrifice from our customers.
The weak economy affects all families and businesses in Lodi. But anyone who reads the news carefully knows that newspapers are struggling more than most businesses right now.
Still, we are rare among newspapers because we are locally owned with historically strong roots. We have the privilege and advantage of being able to appeal directly to our neighbors for support.
That support will ensure that Lodi's newspaper remains a strong, informative community servant and an entertaining news source.
Thank you all for your years of patronage and encouragement.