Washington Post Home Subscription Costs

After last week’s Washington Post Playing on My Guilt? post, I followed up on the Washington Post subscription costs and here is the scan from the bill. Its not $2.30 per day for home delivery of the Post, as I originally thought, it’s more like $0.70 per day.

So while we still don’t know if the Washington Post is playing on guilt to stem the decline in its subscription readership, it seems more likely now.

There is no way that Mr. Basa is making money off my 70 cents per day, even if he buys the paper at a discount from the Post. I say the Post pays a premium for each paper delivered, to Mr. Basa’s company (delivery agents are independent of WashPost).

Say $1 per paper per day, with my $0.70 subsidizing that cost, not forming Mr. Basa’s income.

Or put it another way: Would you deliver newspapers for 70 cents a person or less? After gas, and time, that can’t be much in DC and not even minimum wage if you’re covering the suburbs.

6 Comments so far

  1. Steve Jones (unregistered) on November 9th, 2006 @ 12:49 pm

    He sure isn’t making any money off deadbeats who don’t pay their bills.


  2. danny (unregistered) on November 9th, 2006 @ 1:58 pm

    Isn’t the newstand price 35 cents? If he buys papers in discount from the Post at let’s say a quarter, he’s making 45 cents off each paper. Depending on the number of subscriptions in his route, he could make around $100 for a cpl hours of early morning work, which ain’t grand but it ain’t bad either.


  3. Steve Jones (unregistered) on November 9th, 2006 @ 2:38 pm

    “There is no way that Mr. Basa is making money off my 70 cents per day, even if he buys the paper at a discount from the Post. I say the Post pays a premium for each paper delivered, to Mr. Basa’s company (delivery agents are independent of WashPost).”

    Interesting theory, but also an excellent example of why we still need newspapers. A journalist would actually do research on a topic like this, perhaps calling the Washington Post or a distributor and interview them to find out what the real story was. Instead, we have a blurb that is devoid of facts other than a scan of your bill and baseless speculation.


  4. wayan (unregistered) on November 9th, 2006 @ 2:44 pm

    Well Steve, if you actually read the first post, you would note that:

    “Several run-around calls to the Post revealed little about driver compensation. Driver job ads reveal less. Calls to Mr. Basa revealed nothing – his phone was not answered.”

    So while I agree that we need journalists, and I never claimed to be one, nor Metroblogging a newspaper, you might wanna be a more educated commenter.


  5. Don (unregistered) on November 9th, 2006 @ 4:27 pm

    Not to mention that this is a collaborative exercise – people like Steve Jones can post a comment about this with whatever additional information they might have on the matter, unlike a newspaper. Or they can just pointlessly kibitz, adding nothing to the conversation.

    I’m always amused when people feel the need to chime in “this is why we still need X!” as if anyone here was saying we didn’t, or that we’re the same thing.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go write a letter to the Cool Whip company and let them know how inadequate their product is as a window cleaner.


  6. Steve Jones (unregistered) on November 9th, 2006 @ 5:47 pm

    Crap, I hate being wrong, my apologies.



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