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Tampa Bay Times finally bundles print subscriptions with online access

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The Tampa Bay Times is “changing” its subscription options. In an email, CEO Paul Tash announced the new “Total Access” package that allows subscribers to get both the print edition and unlimited access to the paper’s web content.

“We are bundling what had been separate subscriptions – print and digital – into a combined and convenient package,” Tash wrote in an email to subscribers.

What the “Total Access” plan means is, those who choose to have paper delivery to their home or office can now also have digital access to online material instead of having a separate digital subscription.

According to Tash’s email, those subscribers don’t necessarily need to do anything to update their account and will be automatically enrolled in the new bundle.

“Devotees of the printed newspaper – and I count myself among them – have nothing to fear,” Tash wrote. “You still choose how often you want the Times delivered to your door, along with the digital replica of the print edition delivered every day to your computer or mobile device.”

However, not everything is bundled. The “Total Access” package starts at $2.25 per week depending on whether subscribers choose daily, weekend or Sunday delivery. That package includes unlimited web access as well as a handful of other features the Times is pushing including a mobile app and e-newsletter. It’s also now including a year digital subscription to the Washington Post.

But, subscribers don’t have to have paper delivery to enjoy all the other tech features. A digital access pass is still available starting at $2.00 a week.

Or you can turn on private browsing for free. Just sayin’.

With fewer and fewer people reading the news with a folded paper in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other, it makes sense that papers like the Tampa Bay Times are moving toward digital subscriptions. Circulation of newspapers in actual print is dwindling while access to digital content is exploding.

What’s shocking here is that the Times is just now getting around to rewarding what print subscribers it has with digital access included in their paper delivery service. After all, even Grandpa Joe is learning how to work the Google and may want to read breaking news on the Times’ website every now and again.

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Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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