‘Tucson Citizen’ Subscribers Switched to ‘Arizona Daily Star’ — Sparks Hundreds of Calls, Few Cancellations

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By: Joe Strupp

Fewer than 100 of the 10,000 Tucson Citizen subscribers who were automatically switched to the Arizona Daily Star Monday after the Citizen ended its print edition have canceled the paper.

“Right now it has been minimal to date, less than 100,” Mike Welsh, circulation operations manager for Tucson Newspapers, said about the cancellations. “It is actually a little bit better than we expected. We had hoped to retain at least 90% of those subscribers.”

As with JOA situations in Seattle and Denver earlier this year, when one of two daily papers ended their print publication and the other was automatically delivered in its place, Tucson officials did the same.

But in the Tucson situation, the change was a bit different because it meant that a former afternoon subscriber, to the Citizen, was suddenly given a morning paper, the Daily Star.

In a repeat of the Denver and Seattle situations, Tucson Newspapers, which handled business operations for the JOA, automatically began delivering the Daily Star to Citizen subscribers on Monday, two days after the Citizen’s last print edition. Some 11,000 subscribers had received the now defunct print paper, which is only available online. About 1,000 of them received both papers, Welsh said.

Citizen subscribers who are now receiving the Daily Star can cancel no matter what subscription plan they are on, Welsh said. He also said their rate will not change.

Even with the extended news coverage of the Citizen dropping its print edition, Welsh said circulation officials received “a few hundred phone calls” on Monday from subscribers when the switch was made. He said a letter was delivered with each Daily Star to announce the change as well. “Most of them were resolved when we told them what had happened.”

With the Citizen print edition gone, the Daily Star single-copy press run also was bumped up by about 6,000 copies, as of Monday, to 26,000.

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