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New Miami Herald Profit Model: Just Take Extra Money From Subscribers

The Miami Herald's impending paywall, it seems, will not be making enough money to make the paper feel better. The newspaper has a creative new way of pulling in cash, starting RIGHT NOW! It's charging readers for stuff they don't want.

The Herald sent out an email to subscribers on Friday explaining how very lucky they were to be receiving the "2012 Football Preview" at the end of the month, for the "nominal one-time charge of $1.25," which you did not agree to and you can opt out of only by calling the paper's automated consumer help line and waiting on hold to ask about it.

It's cool, though -- everybody likes football, right? (I opted out this morning. For what it's worth, they were quite nice about it.)

I also called Herald circulation director Armando Boniche for comment -- he said that "it's basically a value-added section" that readers are being given, and that's why the charge was added. He said it's "something that other newspapers are doing as well" but declined to name specifics.

As for objections from subscribers whose deals are changing as they go along, he said that the number of calls were "no more than usual" and that "we're dealing with subscribers on an individual basis."

Here's the email that was sent out:

Dear Miami Herald EZ-Pay subscriber:

I'm writing today to let you know that something exciting is coming in the Friday, August 31 edition of The Miami Herald: the 2012 Football Preview.

This special full-color, multi-section feature kicks off the fall football season with a bang. It features the most comprehensive pre-season coverage of football in South Florida: Dolphins/NFL; UM, FIU, UF, FSU and state colleges; and Miami-Dade and Broward high schools.

The 2012 Football Preview is a must-read for any South Florida sports fan. It's packed with stats, schedules, analysis and predictions, plus everything you need to know, including:

Dolphins - With a new coach and quarterback, what are the team's prospects for the 2012 season?

UM - A look at head coach Al Golden and the program's evolution in the post-Jacory Harris era

High schools - The players to watch in Miami-Dade and Broward, and a preview of the best games of the year

And much more - making it one of our most highly anticipated issues of the year!

For EZ-Pay subscriber accounts, your debt/credit covering the 2012 Football Preview issue will reflect a nominal one-time charge of $1.25. We hope you find it an excellent value, and enjoy it as much as our sports reporters have enjoyed producing it for you.

Please email any questions or comments to [email protected]

Thanks for subscribing to The Miami Herald.

Best regards,

Armando Boniche
Circulation Director

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Rich Abdill

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