Next year we will build on our successes from 2023

by Peter Weinberger |

The Courier has a lot to be thankful for and 2023 proved that time and again. It also gave us building blocks on which to reflect so that we continue to evolve and better serve our readers and donors in 2024.

The Courier had a healthy increase in nonprofit revenue in 2023, primarily due to sales of our new coffee table book of photography, “Timeless Claremont.” Sales have exceeded expectations, especially considering the 235 sold thus far were all purchased prior to the product’s arrival. Our main shipment of books will arrive in January, triggering our second phase of the rollout, with sales in bookstores and other local spots like the Claremont Chamber of Commerce and Xerxes clothing store. We are avoiding using Amazon at this point, given it demands a healthy cut of the profits to utilize the platform. But that may change as we monitor interest in the coming months.

Based on the feedback we received after delivering the first copies of “Timeless Claremont,” the Courier hit a home run. The enthusiasm and heartfelt comments have been phenomenal. The book will also be used to help market other Courier products in 2024. Stay tuned!

Change in 2024

The Courier staff is already reviewing everything from news coverage, advertising options, opinion, distribution, special editions, online transactions, obituaries, design, and more. The changes will be noticeable, all focused on improving our award-winning fact-based journalism and advertising reach. Our passion for serving the public remains unchanged, and will not waver.

As I mentioned in a previous column, the costs of publishing continue their upward push, making it impossible to hold the line on prices in 2024. We continue to strive to be a great value, but realize as a nonprofit we must stay in the black.

We will do our part. It’s not likely we will grow our staff in the new year. In fact, we plan to move from our current office at 114 Olive St. to a more suitable and affordable space in order to save money on rent. Like most nonprofits, resources are tight, and our staff is our most valuable asset. And though we’re not planning on adding staff, we will widen the breadth and focus of our news coverage in 2024.

The Courier has the most competitive pricing of any weekly newspaper in the state, especially when considering a subscription includes everything we produce: the print edition, daily website, newsletters, podcasts, and video, all of which are anchored by our award-winning journalism.

One-year subscriptions will be $98, $93 for seniors in 2024. Two-year commitments will enjoy additional discounts. Even at $98 per year, that’s still only $8.16 per month. Consider for a moment a Big Mac is now more than $6, as is a large chai tea latte at Starbucks.

Each time I review our subscription prices I remain proud we deliver so much for so little. This supports our mission of publishing local news that almost everyone can afford.

Our website continues to offer open access, but we are reviewing the possibility of establishing a low fee paywall for non-subscribers. It’s possible this will apply to just a small amount of content, probably the most popular stories. Nothing is imminent though, and I will notify readers in advance of any changes.

If every Courier reader made the leap and became a subscriber, I would have no need to think about a paywall. Thus far our generous donors have been the main reason why subscription, advertising, obituary and legal notice prices have remained low for so long. The most important request I make of our readers is if you are reading our content on a regular basis, in print or online, please make the effort to subscribe. Your support can have a serious impact on our numerous efforts to serve the public with fact-based local journalism.

To conclude my last column of the year, all of us at the Courier cannot thank the community enough for their incredible support. From my catbird seat it’s obvious that thousands of people count on the locally relevant information our staff produces each day and every week. Changing to a nonprofit has helped me connect with so many more people about all sorts of important local issues. And for that, I thank you.

Claremont Courier mission statement

At the core, our values connect the public with accurate, fair-minded information that impacts their lives. At the Claremont Courier, we are ever cognizant of our vital role as watchdog of a shared community, while our digital and print mediums provide this important information to everyone, 24/7. As a nonprofit, we are committed to public service by telling stories of local newsmakers, organizations, businesses, and the voiceless. Most importantly, we are committed to diversity and inclusion, with understanding being our underlying guiding principle.


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