The NY Post Drops its Price To a Slim Nickel

Today’s Village Voice has a funny column by Keach Hagey about the NY Post, where Rupert has decided to drop the cost of the daily paper to chump change.

“After a long day of shopping at Gimbels, nothing beats an icy highball at McHales, then heading home on the Ninth Avenue El with the newspaper you bought for a nickel. Well at least one of these things you can do again. The New York Post recently began offering $13 subscriptions, or five cents per copy.

“Startled observers, rubbing their eyes to make sure they hadn’t fallen into a tabloid time machine, were split on whether this proved the Post was crazy or evil. “It’s a small step to giving it away,” said Piet Bakker, who runs an Amsterdam based blog,, which tracks the rise of free dailies. “We will definitely see more models like this,” he said.

A few months before resigning in 2005, Post publisher Lachlan Murdoch acknowledged to BusinessWeek that halving the cover price widened the paper’s annual loss, rumored to be in the tens of millions. In the same article, he said he intended to restore the paper’s 50-cent cover price if and when the Post passed the Daily News in circulation, adding, “We very much care that it make money one day.” But it seems pretty clear that “one day” will not come until the Post is straddling the bleeding, lifeless corpse of the undercut Daily News. (Current Post publisher Paul Carlucci did not return calls for comment.)

Daniel Magnus, who publishes the free daily Metro New York, declared “The traditional newspaper model in the eyes of investors is done.”