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Feb 25, 2011 2:56 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

The Press News Group To Offer Premium Membership Subscriptions

Feb 25, 2011 2:56 PM

Beginning on March 9, The Press News Group will begin offering a single bundled subscription, giving readers access to all of its content—both print and digital—for a single low price.

In addition to mail or Manhattan home delivery of The Southampton Press or The East Hampton Press, the Premium membership will include access to an enhanced digital edition of all Press newspapers, allowing readers to locate, save and share any story, photo or advertisement that has appeared in print. With the digital edition, readers can also translate stories into any language or have an audio version of the story read to them over their computer.

Membership also includes access to the full version of all stories posted on The Press News Group’s daily news and community portal, 27east.com. While much of the content available on 27east.com—including breaking news, real estate, calendar listings and directories—will still be available free of charge to any visitor of the site, some stories will only be available in their entirety to Premium members.

“Our goal is to give our readers access to our award-winning content over numerous platforms with a single subscription,” said Press News Group publisher Joe Louchheim. “We’re not just a weekly newspaper company anymore, and how we package and sell subscriptions needed to reflect this.”

Mr. Louchheim noted that the company also is preparing to launch iPad versions of The Southampton Press and The East Hampton Press, as early as late spring.

The Premium membership will be free for existing mail subscribers and home delivery customers of The Southampton Press and The East Hampton Press. Full-access subscriptions will be available for as little as $40 per year, or $5 for two weeks.

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Que sera, sera.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Feb 25, 11 8:11 PM
With the escalating price of newsprint and the competing free digital media we should support our hometown paper ... for a modest price we get all the news ... how would we fell if no local paper were available?

Go for it. Spend the money and save our local newspaper.
By JimmyKBond (156), Hampton Bays on Feb 25, 11 9:41 PM
We really appreciate that--and your point is a good one. Journalism isn't free, and we want to continue providing quality journalism to our community, which deserves it. At the same time, we're trying to keep the price for Premium members as low as possible.

It's also worth noting: Much of the website, including most of the elements found on the home page--breaking news, the calendar, real estate listings, restaurant information, etc.--will remain accessible to all visitors, whether they ...more
By Joe Louchheim, Publisher (9), Sagaponack on Feb 28, 11 11:11 AM
I've been buying the paper weekly for decades and that works fine for me. So now I need to have it delivered to use the website? Is it always delivered in the mail on Thursday? How much?
By VOS (1241), WHB on Feb 26, 11 12:20 AM
As a Premium member, you will have access to a newspaper delivered by mail--and the overwhelming majority of the time, the paper arrives in the mail on Thursday morning for local customers. The Postal Service is actually pretty reliable with that. The cost is $10 per quarter, billed to a credit card, or $45 a year in a single payment.

You can, of course, continue to purchase the paper at the newsstand--although you'd still be required to become a Premium member for full online access and ...more
By Joe Louchheim, Publisher (9), Sagaponack on Feb 28, 11 11:12 AM
I agree. I have had a subscription for over 10 years and my newspaper is in my PO Box every Thursday.
By Dr Spock (36), Hampton Bays on Feb 28, 11 8:29 PM
Nice gimmick to double your circulation. Now, if my donation of a single subscription sent two or three papers to the education program instead of just one it would seem like the publisher was also contributing and would make it a lot more palatable.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Mar 2, 11 1:46 AM
What if you just want it online?
By consciencepoint (16), Southampton on Feb 26, 11 8:12 AM
1 member liked this comment
As noted above, with your Premium membership, you can opt to simply access the paper online (along with all of the other benefits), and donate your mailed newspaper to the Newspaper In Education program, where it will be used in local schools.
By Joe Louchheim, Publisher (9), Sagaponack on Feb 28, 11 11:12 AM
Will it work?

Newsday and the Murdoch Papers have eliminated free online access; the NY Times has gone to limited free online to non-subscribers access. All of these papers (I include Murdoch's London Times) have a prestigious and substantial presence in print journalism. And, even for them, the success of this strategy is dubious. Commentators are much more likely to cite sources that come easy to hand (on the internet) rather than those that require a fee. The result will be that ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Feb 26, 11 10:21 AM
1 member liked this comment
I myself like it real. The feel of newsprint between my hands, able to carry all over, fold it, bathe with it, read it whilst on the potty... All that is bulky to do with my lap top. I would rather pick it up that have it delivered when I travel about town. So I buy the print version anyway. As for the digital version I would have to give serious thought before I signed up. As is now the 27 East site is a disaster. I was made worse than what came before. You give priority space to your advertisers ...more
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Feb 26, 11 10:49 AM
2 members liked this comment
Guys, we’re talking about spending 75 cents a week here. That’s about 5 sips of coffee. Is 27east.com the worlds best organized website? No. Is it pretty damn good considering it’s coming from a local weekly paper? Yes. You guys can sit here and whine and stomp your feet about “having to think twice” about paying for the convenience of getting local news here. But when you consider the alternatives, I for one, am happy to pay a few cents a week to support a company ...more
By GlassHouses (64), anywhere on Feb 26, 11 3:32 PM
1 member liked this comment
I think the site was working well before. When they went to this new format a lot of the problems I listed before started happening. I'm not being critical for criticism's sake here. I'm pointing out problems that might make their products better. Think of me as the unpaid consultant. Also, its not right of you to belittle people and call them cheap, whiner's, and foot stompers and delusional because we would like to see the product work better. Be careful climbing down that high horse of yours...
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Feb 26, 11 5:10 PM
I buy the paper Wednesday night to get the local news right away. By mail it wouldn't arrive until Friday. Is there a way to opt out of having the newspaper mailed, if I signed up for an online subscription? I don't like the idea of having two copies of the Press when I only want one. What a waste of trees.
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Feb 27, 11 12:04 PM
See above: the Newspapers In Education program gives you the option of accessing all the benefits of Premium membership, and you can donate the mailed print edition to the local schools, where it will be put to good use.
By Joe Louchheim, Publisher (9), Sagaponack on Feb 28, 11 11:13 AM
"Membership"? Please. The web site is alredy so cluttered with advertising and their format so haphazard its hard to find the news. Many people, myself included, follow the digital edition of the Press more for the reader comments than for the 'news', which I can get from the EH Star and speaking to family and friends. If they restrict access to paid 'memberships' for simple day-to-day viewing and commenting (v. the noted menu of useless 'privileges') they will have fewer people to view their advertisers ...more
By zaz (197), East Hampton on Feb 28, 11 11:05 AM
While a huge fan of the Newspapers in Education program - how does it fit with more & more schools using laptops/tablets/eboards? I love a paper, but print is kinda 20th Century. 5 years tops & print will be gone. Give the kids free news access now for their laptops/tablets & eboards - you might end up w/ some paying customers as they get a bit older...?

As for the advertising, those revolving ads that do clutter up the site are a grand a month or more. How does restricting access & content ...more
By G (342), Southampton on Feb 28, 11 1:20 PM
1 member liked this comment
Curious about the 2 comment/day limit for those w/o the premium subscription. Why the limit for non-subscribers?
By CoweeDewey (110), East Quogue on Feb 28, 11 3:31 PM
"The cost is $10 per quarter, billed to a credit card, or $45 a year in a single payment."

Why is it more for a single payment than paying quarterly ($40)? shouldn't it be the other way around?
By EastEnder2 (30), Hampton Bays on Feb 28, 11 4:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
We decided to give people a break on the auto-renewal subscription because it means a lot less work for our circulation department as this type of subscription rolls over from year to year and does not require us to process and mail two and sometimes three renewal reminders every year.
By Joe Louchheim, Publisher (9), Sagaponack on Mar 1, 11 10:37 AM
So...if once a year is less work, why are you charging more for an annual subscription than for quarterly? Wouldn't rolling over from quarter to quarter create more work for the circulation department? Your answer just does not make sense.
By EastEnder2 (30), Hampton Bays on Mar 3, 11 12:57 PM
Mr. Louchcheim. A simple question for you. Are you going to be addressing some of the issues some of us have pointed out to you as to how your website is working? Do you acknowledge that there are problems or do you simply ignore it?
As someone who buys your newspaper weekly and contributes, for better or worse, to your website, I would appreciate knowing. I realize its your paper and you need not acknowledge me, but I think many people are frustrated with the status quo.
By Toma Noku (616), uptown on Feb 28, 11 5:58 PM
Believe me when I tell you that we constantly strive to continuously improve our website. And we take all of your feedback seriously. Designing, constructing, programming, managing and maintaining a website is a huge undertaking, and we’re doing the best we can with limited resources. We have made adjustments along the way and will continue to do so as we learn from our mistakes (and successes). And feedback from all of you has played a vital role.
One point that’s worth mentioning ...more
By Joe Louchheim, Publisher (9), Sagaponack on Mar 1, 11 10:39 AM
Mr. Louchcheim, Thank you for your reply and we appreciate that you are listening and paying attention and working to resolve. I speak for myself, my twin, and perhaps others. The site has many positive features. I've listed some of my peeves so no need to elaborate more.

I just make three suggestions. First, create a link " web site problems suggestions" so that when issues occur they can be easily reported and get feedback that the problem is being addressed .

Second, I suggest ...more
By Toma Noku (616), uptown on Mar 1, 11 12:34 PM
Ha ha ha. U guys are well on ur way to irrelevancy. The Patch already covers the east end better than 27east. U guys just don't get it, Brendan O'Reilly does.
By HB 4 Life (72), Hampton Bays on Mar 1, 11 10:09 AM
Papers given to the schools are not used by students. For years I've seen stacks of the ones the Press donates gathering dust in the main office where staff can pick them up for free. Out of curiosity, I've asked my kids a couple of times if they ever saw them or were given them and each time their answer was no.
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Mar 1, 11 11:27 AM
I will join not a problem for me. Its pennies a day
By joe hampton (3461), south hampton on Mar 2, 11 11:41 AM
Seems like a good way to get rid of the trouble makers on this blog
By joe hampton (3461), south hampton on Mar 2, 11 11:43 AM
Well you raise a good point. If you pay to be in, does that entitle the editors to sensor your posts? I'm reminded of Reagan's famous quip:
"Excuse me sir, I payed for this microphone."
By Toma Noku (616), uptown on Mar 3, 11 9:56 AM
1 member liked this comment
Phil take of the blinders and look at the forest before you make silly comments like that...
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Mar 6, 11 3:45 PM
Phil I'm gonna waste my second posting allowance to inform you that I'm not Joe's sock-puppet or in any way affiliated, associated, incorporated,allied,related,or as they would otherwise say his poodle.
We have never wined, dinned,or woken up in the same bed either. We may share an opinion here or there but that is by chance and, dare I say, common sense as in wisdom generally accepted by all and not just the two of us. My only sock-puppet is my twin as so dubbed by no less than the publisher ...more
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Mar 7, 11 3:52 PM
I have read a book titled "Losing The News". To a point it scared me. I love holding the paper or a book in hand.
I have been reading the Press since 1945, every week. I used to llive on Jobs Lane across the street from the Press at the time. You can have no idea how limportant the paper is to me. So many times I want to take you to task because I catch mistakes made in reporting and spelling of places there on lthe East End.
I do not care for the new web site. It seems to be akward to ...more
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Mar 2, 11 2:32 PM
Under the Premium Subscription, does requiring a subscription to the print edition have anything to do with the reporting requirements of the Audit Bureau of Circulation ("ABC"), which in turn affects the rates advertisers pay?

Has the ABC changed their oversight of newspapers to include an Internet version of the old reporting (page hits, site hits, etc.)?

IMO the annual cost of the Premium Subscriptions is well worth it, but like other posters I prefer to buy the paper on Wednesday ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Mar 5, 11 1:43 PM
I would rather not donate a paper to local schools, but e-readers.

They save paper, trees, and natural, long term renewable resources.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Mar 5, 11 3:16 PM
the trees are FARMED, therefore , a renewable resource.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Mar 5, 11 4:03 PM
And, how long do they take to mature? Hence the use of the phrase "long term".

Do you think, before you type, or much less speak?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Mar 6, 11 8:23 PM