By Ossie Bladine • Editor • 

Letter to Readers: About those premium subscriptions

It has been mentioned a few times in the newspaper that we will be launching a Premium Subscription program. In last week’s Viewpoints guest commentary, Sal Peralta and Tanya Tomkins encouraged readers to join them in signing up for said Premium Subscription. And we received several calls from people inquiring about how to sign up.

Our answer at the moment is, let us get back to you. But it will be soon.

We will unveil details of our Premium Subscription in next Friday’s newspaper. I wanted to get this message out to those interested, and also wanted to give the opportunity for readers to make suggestions. If you were going to pay $100 for a year of Premium Subscription, what would you want included?

Some of the features we are considering include:

* Access to the N-R digital archive. This is currently available to any subscriber, but we are considering making it a bonus feature for premium subscribers only. The digital archive contains all stories that have been printed in the newspaper since 1999. It’s a great resource, but takes quite a bit of staff time to maintain.

* A free “Happy Ad.” You may have seen the house ad in the newspaper for “Happy Ads.” These are personal advertisements purchased by people to wish a friend or family member a happy birthday, anniversary, retirement or other special moment. We want to promote these more going forward. Happy Ads generate money for the newspaper, but they also are great content. These personalized ads, I think, are wonderful way to Keep Yamhill County Connected, as the motto goes. Premium Subscribers will receive one Happy Ad per year, valued at $89.

* Free classified listings. We currently offer free classified ad listings to subscribers in the Under $500 category. We may open that up more for premium subscribers. As with the Happy Ads, I appreciate classified ads for the content they provide more than the money they generate. For those interested in the history of classified advertising, I recommend the book “Strange Red Cow: And Other Curious Classified Ads of the Past.”

* A monthly newsletter from editors and publishers. We want to offer premium subscribers more access into the stories behind the headlines, provided access to staff processes of what issues we cover, how we cover them and additional thoughts that did not make it to print.

* Invitation to gatherings and discounted tickets to local events. This is a feature that may need to develop over time. But we want the Premium Subscribers to something of a club. And a club has to have meetings, right? So this may be quarterly gatherings to meet and chat with N-R staff. Or we may look into a group of tickets to a local event that Premium Subscribers can purchase.

These features are not set in stone. We want to provide enough incentive to make subscribers feel they are getting their money’s worth. But I also must consider our available resources and not overcommit our staff’s time for these bonus features to the program.

So, what do you think? Are there features not listed above that would entice you to purchase a $100 premium subscription for the year? I’d love to read any feedback or suggestions to this program, so feel free to email me.

Ossie Bladine






To take something like the digital archive, currently part of a paid subscription, and change it so it would require additional payment as part of a premium subscription, detracts from the feeling of reliability one expects from paying for a subscription to begin with. In other words, in the future what other features available with the subscription now would be cut, or require additional payment? Such business policies don't leave a good impression.


Currently one email per subscription. Adding a premium could add a family email notice of the online issues. Maybe a total of three emails (different email addresses - for different computers) per family. Subscription 1 email notice. Premium subscription 2 additional email notices to the online issues.


Another thought. Happy Ad. covers existing subscribers - nice $89 value. However it does not extend subscriptions. How about a $89 benefit for a premium subscription who gifts someone a subscription. Here is a birthday gift, a graduation gift, whatever gift of an subscription to this fantastic local newspaper. If you are going to give $89 value for a premium make it work to expand the subscribers.

Ossie Bladine


A little clarification on what we call the digital archive. The N-R website contains all stories from the last five years (or so) that can be searched for in the panel at the top right of the website. We go through about once a year and delete some older photos and articles to prevent the website from operating slower.

What we call the digital archive, located at, is the full archive back to 1999, presented in a different form without photos. We really don't have a good idea of how much that full digital archive is utilized by regular subscribers. To us, it's more of a research tool for certain people, such as members of the legal community, with special use that we feel may be worth an added cost. Keeping that archive running and maintained weekly has more of a cost than you might think, and thus we have considered charging for its use long before coming up with premium subscriptions.

We currently don't have that archive page set up to limit which type of subscriber can access that. So we will not be including that in the initial round of Premium Subscriptions benefits anyway. But I added that in the article to see what sort of response it generated.

I understand that taking away a service currently provided to regular subscribers may be felt negatively just in principal. If we learn that regular subscribers do use that archive frequently, we would have to consider the negative impression that would leave. But if it's utilized only by a small percentage of subscribers for specialized use, we may find it necessary to ask those users to help cover the additional costs of digital archive.

Appreciate the feedback.


Ossie Bladine

Also, daphne, no they are not other features currently available that we are considering to require additional payments for. Everything else would be added services or benefits that come with the additional cost of a premium subscription.

mikes, the issue of allowing multiple email notices is a conversation we've been having at the request of some readers. There is some scheduled programming to the backend of the website that may help with this. We will follow-up with more information as those conversations and that work continues.

I like your idea of the gift subscriptions. We often only promote the gift subscriptions around the holidays, and always receive some takers. Including such an added value to premium subscriptions is certainly worth considering as we finalize the program.

Thanks for the ideas!



Are you seeking any grants from foundations that are donating funds to newspapers so they can keep publishing?
Also, I think you have outdated information online about subscriptions and lacks information for an easy way to get the online editions Monday and Wednesday.

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