By: E&P Staff
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino wants to double the one-time application fee newspapers pay to put newsracks on city sidewalks — and make it an annual charge.
Menino also would like to impose for the first time a fee for each rack installed.
He is proposing to switch the application fee from a one-time charge of $150 to an annual fee of $300 plus $25 for each rack. Boston papers do not pay a per-rack charge now.
Also under his plan, newspapers would be limited to a maximum 300 newsracks on city property. Right now, according to an account of the proposal in the Boston Herald by media reporter Jessica Heslam, The Boston Globe has 294 racks in public ways, the alternative Weekly Dig 274, and the Herald 176.
A newspaper with the maximum number of racks would go from paying no annual fee to $7,800 a year, Robert Ambrogi of the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association told the Herald.
Herald Publisher Patrick J. Purcell said the proposal “puts an unreasonable burden on publishers who are already struggling to fulfill their obligation to inform the public.”