COURIER set for subscription rate increase; windstorm coverage

by Peter Weinberger |

It’s been six years since the COURIER has raised subscription prices. Our philosophy has always been to try to keep our prices not only competitive, but low enough that almost anyone could afford to follow local news. Access to our website is also included in the price, which makes subscribing to the COURIER a downright steal.

Even with our $10 a year increase starting on Monday, February 7, the monthly cost of subscribing is only $78 a year, or $6.50 a month. Most community newspapers and websites charge anywhere from $12 to $20 monthly for print and web subscriptions. Pricing for two-year subscription will be $140 (a savings of $16), and yes, seniors still receive a $5 discount. You can also pay $7 on a monthly basis.

Keeping prices below market value is one significant way the COURIER is using our donation revenue to give back to the community. These prices are lower because of the generosity of our donors.

Included in the price is a robust website that’s updated six days a week and loaded with Claremont news. Our coverage of the windstorm, for example, was seen by over 47,200 readers who were impacted by the storm. Do you think that’s valuable information?

Steven Felschundneff not only took photos, but wrote three stories starting on Saturday, each with important updates about the recovery efforts. Yours truly spent the weekend taking photos and video, while flying a drone over hot spots. My point is that solid coverage of a big news event doesn’t just grow on trees (bad pun), because it takes a lot of time and effort to collect all of this information. And it usually touches all staffers in some way.

That’s why any veteran in the publishing business will say that journalism is not a 9 to 5 job. This week, there’s no break. After a weekend reporting on storm damage, the COURIER staff was back in the newsroom finishing a print special section by Tuesday, then preparing stories for our weekly newspaper that is produced on Thursday. Thursday night into Friday, we update the website. And let’s not forget our email newsletter and social media posts that follow.

We know that during weeks like this, it’s critical to publish local news in a timely fashion.

I’ve spent the past year outlining increasing costs for our news coverage. This increase reflects those costs, especially as inflation takes a bigger piece of our hard-earned dollars. But the good news is that you will see new initiatives in 2022, like our new small business directory and MLS-enhanced real estate section that are focused on helping local businesses.

Through it all, the COURIER remains committed to producing a weekly newspaper, along with a website and social media sites, focused on timely news. Proof of our efforts can be seen in today’s edition, which actually is two editions totaling 48 pages of coverage.

Once again, I wanted to thank you all for the incredible support. None of this could happen without our readers.

Windstorm coverage

Whatever the reason for such a substantial storm to blow through Claremont, most agree the damage was so widespread that it’s hard to remember a time when it was worse. As someone born in Claremont, I do remember other significant storms with serious winds just like last week’s event. But this storm was unique, with the highest wind gusts in Claremont reaching 57 mph, although residents to the north may deem that number too low.

What made this windstorm different was the destruction of so many large, older trees. This increased damage, blocked roads and wrecked homes was so widespread, just about every neighborhood in the city was impacted. While other cities including La Verne and Upland also sustained damage, Claremont seemed to be right in the bullseye.

Given all this, the good news is there was no loss of life or even serious injuries — something we all should appreciate given that the storm hit in the middle of the night. For all those people who still need help in their cleanup efforts, the city has an enormous task in front of them, so progress is slow. By this time next week, I believe Claremont will no longer look like the City of [fallen] Trees.


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