SJ will soon charge for unlimited access. New 'bundle' can include 7 papers

On Dec. 3, the Sun Journal and our family of weekly newspapers will begin charging for Web access, and offering something unique in Maine: an all-access bundle of newspapers that will include the daily Sun Journal and six weekly newspapers in Franklin, Oxford and Androscoggin counties.

Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Rex Rhoades

As a current Sun Journal print subscriber, you will receive automatic access to and our e-edition, as well as your home-delivered newspaper, on Dec. 3 at no additional cost.

When you renew your print subscription, you will receive the same deal for only pennies more per day.

In addition, most subscribers will join a membership program offering extra discounts and benefits that will more than cover the cost of your subscription. You will hear more about those benefits in the coming weeks.

Infrequent users of will be able to view a set number of stories, initially 10, every 30 days before being asked to subscribe.

Some items, including breaking news and Associated Press stories, will be available to everyone.

Now, allow me to explain why we are just now doing what more than 200 U.S. newspapers — and most of the daily newspapers in New Hampshire — have already done: charging for unlimited Web access.

I began my newspaper career in 1976 by typing news stories on a typewriter, back when newspapers were only delivered one printed copy at a time.

We still deliver many thousands of newspapers that way, a single store rack and doorstep at a time, and we expect to do so for many years to come.

But we all recognize that a remarkable new wave of technology now allows us to deliver — and you to receive — news and advertising on devices that were unimaginable even a decade ago.

Those devices — smartphones, tablets and laptops, in addition to desktop computers — mean Sun Journal customers receive the latest news day or night, while on a beach or at a ski lodge, customized for the device they are using.

Now you can be connected to Maine and your community instantly, whether you are a retiree in Florida, serving in the military or simply out of state on vacation.

Today, our reporters and photographers bring you news while it is happening, or only minutes later. We bring you video, audio and the ability to participate in conversations with your neighbors.

But it takes additional people, expertise and equipment to produce content for not only our print newspapers but for all of the new devices.

While this has been a difficult time for newspapers nationally, we have worked very hard to maintain our traditional news and sports coverage even as more people have switched to reading us on the Web.

Over the past 15 years, we have made more and more of our news content available without cost on the Web.

We are now asking our Web users to join our print subscribers in helping to provide professional news coverage of our cities and towns at a cost that fits all budgets.

Membership means you are willing to support our reporters, photographers and freelance writers in doing what no one else does: cover our state and hometowns while providing a forum for ideas and opinions relevant to Maine and our region.

Membership will help the Sun Journal and our weekly newspapers continue to be advocates and voices for our region of Maine on the state and national level.

As I mentioned, membership will be a two-way street: You will be supporting local news coverage but also receiving a variety of benefits and discounts.

Please watch for details of these new programs over the coming days and weeks in the Sun Journal and at

I believe all of our newspapers provide an important public service — maintaining an informed citizenry in an increasingly complex world, while connecting you to your friends, relatives and neighbors.

With this new program, and your help, we can continue providing that same level of high-quality service for many years to come.

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David Pinkham's picture

Pick one

I got CableVision when it first came out, because pay TV was ad-free. They then violated that agreement, so I cancelled.

Now I use Netflix. They offer content for a price I'm willing to pay, without wasting my time with advertising.

You accept payment by advertisers to put their message in front of me.

I'm willing to put up with that advertising if content that may be of value to me is delivered at no extra charge.

If you are going to charge me to view news, information, propaganda, and sometimes inane commentary, then get rid of the ads.

You pick it.

Eric  LeBlanc's picture

This reminds me of the Simpsons episode when Mr. Burns

This reminds me of the Simpsons episode when Mr. Burns blocks out the sun so people will have to continuously rely on electricity from his power plant.

Eric  LeBlanc's picture

Why pay for what can be had for free

This will be an epic failure. Take your liberal rag and shove it Rex.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

can be had for free?

You must of been a leech, or lamprey in your prior are a sucker in so many ways..if it is that liberal why do you even come here? Why, because it is free and you want a free ride and not having to pay the fare.

 's picture

guess I'm a whiner

I expect I'll be labeled one of those whiners. I won't pay for this site anymore than I have paid for the one locally. It has been nice to be able to keep up with things in my former home area now that I don't live there anymore. Too bad. I actually read a fair amount of the content here, but can't justify paying for it, since I have had to take on a second job just to try and keep a roof over my head, a car on the road and the utilities paid. Guess that's the way it goes. Just because so many other papers are doing it, doesn't necessarily make it right. I'm sure SJ makes a substantial amount of money off the ads they run especially with the thinly veiled porn come ons that have been showing up lately. I guess that will be one advantage to not frequenting the site anymore. Not sure how I'll find out what is going on locally, but I'm sure I'll manage somehow.


Will it be as much of a

Will it be as much of a hassle as the e-subscription? I haven't had one in a long time. It kept lapsing because it doesn't auto-renew, and the last time I did subscribe, it was still necessary to complete the process over the phone during regular business hours when I am trying to get my own work done. Clunky!

Sorry it's come to this.

I'll miss reading the local area news, but I will get it elsewhere.

In case anyone's noticed, this is not the NY Times, nor the Wall St. Journal, both newspapers which charge for access to premium content, but they are substantially far better papers than this one.

There aren't many papers which haven't tried the pay route, but there are many which have notoriously, and they found to their dismay that readers do not pay for news that they can get elsewhere, sometimes for free.

This is an average, run of the mill paper, journalistically speaking, and it only carries the AP wire news and other short local stories. Not worth the money to get a subscription to the e-edition at all.

So you can play with the pay option and then find out that you lose more than you gain.

See you around. Sorry it came to this.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

I have no problem............

I have no problem paying a few bucks, I would have the printed edition accept at my old building, the guy would only leave it on the front step. Never failed, unless I was there waiting, it would magically disappear. Neighbors have no respect sometimes. I'm assuming we'll be getting more access to the SJ. I'm looking forward to the six local papers. PLEASE, PLEASE, put the agree, disagree tabs back in the comment section. It helps keep everyone on topic. I'm also hoping the cost will drive away some of the trolls that have taken up residence in the comment section..................................

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Amen on the Agree and

Amen on the Agree and Disagrees, brother. I doubt that us 'trolls' are going anywhere, however.

Eric  LeBlanc's picture

By trolls you mean the people who disagree with you

By trolls you mean the people who disagree with you? Typical liberal thinking. Free speech so long as you agree with it.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Actually no.........

By trolls, I mean people who say stupid things and waste my time. I have three individuals in mind as of right this minute, but that could easily change..........................

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

All due respect Frank

I agree to disagree..

1. The Radio buttons is a cop out to having any real debate or discussion since in past you have those that like and dislike posters and rate on that alone.
2. The radio buttons do not keep posters on topic since they vent in another direction, guilty as charged on some occasions.

3. I do agree with paying your fare share for services rendered like the same as the Honesty Pay buckets at Produce stands ETC.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Yes I've been known to slide way off topic a time or two....

I just enjoyed the agree to disagree part, I never thought of them much dictating the direction of a debate, just a little sign of whether or not your barking up the wrong tree. I also a agree that a lot of people abused those tabs. Some even took them way to seriously, either way, I just hope the cost will help clean out the riff-Raff................

JOANNE MOORE's picture


Hey you guys.......been talking about me again? Just kiddin'. I'm staying with the e edition of this paper. It does my heart a world of good to know there are smart guys like you and Jerry.(and Al and Claire and ....) I most always agree with what you say and have learned a lot here. I just hope the paper doesn't insist I have a Facebook thingy to comment. I won't go there.

Please, Sun Journal, keep the ability to comment the way it is for us folks who don't have a Facebook whatchamacallit.

JOANNE MOORE's picture


Hey you guys.......been talking about me again? Just kiddin'. I'm staying with the e edition of this paper. It does my heart a world of good to know there are smart guys like you and Jerry.(and Al and Claire and ....) I most always agree with what you say and have learned a lot here. I just hope the paper doesn't insist I have a Facebook thingy to comment. I won't go there.

Please, Sun Journal, keep the ability to comment the way it is for us folks who don't have a Facebook whatchamacallit.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Thanks and totaly agree

I will not use Facebook, since as you can see others use it against you in so many varieties, from one teacher losing her job since her fiance had his hand over her breast, captured off her Facebook page to others using material to spite others.

I being in IT development and multiple users servicing their needs, for 12 years, as I have coined ME-U's (Moron End Users) I find no time for Tweeter of Facebook or any other media facet other than this site and my smart phone.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Kuddo's about Facebook..........

I signed up with Facebook a few years ago, my daughter thought I ought to try it. Well I'll tell you what. I first decided to go back and see what some of my old classmates from high school were up to. Well what I found out really took me by surprise, from what I could tell, from reading different profiles or what ever they're called, I was saddened to learn, that out 799 graduating members of my class, I was the only one who didn't turn out to be a filthy rich CEO of a highly successful ,international corporation. I guess I should not have moved out of Massachusetts within weeks of graduating High school, I'm pretty glad I've missed all them class reunions since.
No, since that little foray into my past, I'll stay away from FB, and all the rest..........

JOANNE MOORE's picture


about double post. My pc is slow.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Goes to show you the type caliber of those

that bitch of people about using free services and those that abuse the system here for personal gain...TOO FUNNY reading these whiners, about having to pay or contribute to an entity for keeping a business and a community in functionality and peoples jobs up front.

It more informs us of the hypocrisy of those that don't want others to have something for free, that are the ones so loud and voicetrous about it here and are the first ones to jump the ship like rats, because they have to pay their fare to ride. So much for values, righteousness and fairness to pay your way, users...or should I say losers!

All I can say is good riddance to those of you that insult the paper, blame it for relaying the news, with liberal insults as if they created it and then you have the audacity to use it and complain about you losing your free ride. You deserve to be on the streets scrambling for your fix, stealing from those that can feed your frenzy to FREE news and much more.
The SJ is a business not a charity, competing in an technological wave of today's media world .


 's picture

I am one of those... shame. I CAN'T pay. I'm 76 and on SS. Now you can rant about how I didn't properly prepare myself for retirement, when, in fact, I did. Each day, I enjoy reading the Duluth, Mn, News Tribune, the Sun Journal and the BDN each day. I have friends all over the state and like to "keep up", as they say. So this dead beat will jump ship and abandon the Sun Journal and my friends in the Jay-Livermore Falls-Farmington area. But somehow, under the circumstances, I don't think I'll miss it. I'll still be able to keep up with what's happening with my family in Duluth and my friends in Bangor, where I lived during the '60's. That will somewhat soften the SHAME I'm supposed to feel.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Bob sorry, it wasn't meant directly at you in those hardships

I do feel that everything in life and business is negotiable or suggestive. Meaning that maybe all of us users that use this site for those reasons of keeping in touch ETC. need to address SJ with different types of a package...IE. Retirees over 65 on a fixed income, Veterans and Handicapped ETC.

I really feel that SJ can make accommodations for those users and still keep a happy ship with no mutinies and man overboard scenarios for those that seriously want to make an effort to stay on board.

For those that are worried about this will need to stay abreast of the attempts to charge for Internet use, besides the charges we all pay to our phone or satellite providers for connection. I foresee this just being the tip of the iceberg in further voyages to FREE entertainment. Look what happen to TV from free to now only certain equipment is required to watch your favorite shows without another cost.

JOANNE MOORE's picture

Just paid !!

You will have to put up with me for another year. : )

I haven't had a TV hooked up for years. I'm an old timer who remembers TV in the 1950s. I loved Jackie Gleason, Life of Riley, I married Joan, all the Westerns (Rowdy Yates..Clint Eastwood, wow), an old soap opera, Days of our Lives before all the sex stuff, variety shows, Perry Como and all the singer's shows, and real news by people like Walter Cronkite (who had tears running down his face when Keddedy was assinated). We got one, two, and then 3 channels. 6, 8, and 13. Then we got public tv and I loved the kids shows with my kids. Now we get 500 channels of crap, mostly. And the news is just hearsay, gossip and innuendo. Nope, I don't miss watching the boob tube. Only miss being back in the 50s and 60s.

So far, we have free radio. I love the stations with the big bands and all old music. No "talk" radio. Geeze, those guys are weird!

From what I have been reading, some sites on the web will be very slow to load.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Who played Rowdy Yates' boss

Who played Rowdy Yates' boss and what is he doing now?

JOANNE MOORE's picture

Eric Flemming.

He played Gil Favor. Eric died at 41 when he was shooting a scene in Peru.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Well done. Did you know it,

Well done. Did you know it, or did you have to 'search' it?

JOANNE MOORE's picture

Hubby knew it...

He came up with the name right away. Then I went to IMdb and checked. He was right! I didn't know Flemming died when he was so young! It may have been suicide. Now I need to ask you a question. Who was the guy, western star, that was skiing and got stabbed in the heart by his ski pole and lived to tell about it? Tall, dark hair, built, good looking. Can't think of his name or the show he was the star of. But us girls in high school never missed watching that show. He was a hunk. (giggle.)

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Easy Clint Walker

He played lots of movies and the best one was with Burt Reynolds in Sam Whiskey. I got an email reply from Clint about 5 years back when it was his birthday and I sent him a congrats on his site and he replied.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Also great in

Dirty Dozen,...Posey

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture



JOANNE MOORE's picture

Thanks, Jerry!

How could I have forgotten? sigh.

 's picture

Pay for e news

Let's see. I have a choice. Obamacare or the enews.

DAVE GUDAS's picture

Time has come

An amazing tie of disenchantment today on this topic...

It's no secret that the physical print industry is dying in this digital age. Books, magazines and newspapers are all meeting the same fate. The Sun Journal has to do something. I've kind of been wondering how they've been surviving by giving away arranging and posting their articles for free on-line, hosting webcasts, maintaining their website, making their site function for the various devices we buy, and still produce and deliver a paper version, all as their paper subscribers dwindle.

I have to ask what would this community become without the Sun Journal? We have NO other reliable proven local central source for delivering the goings on of our local government, as well as community events. Myself and others have been able to quickly figure out so much past history of this community through this newspaper which has been publishing for 150+ years.

We can argue about the spin they may put on things, but I think their services are as essential to Lew/Aub as almost any of our utilities. If they were to ever just shutdown, the local informational blackout, and subsequent misinformation that would ensue in the realms of unorganized digital social media would be unimaginable, but we would gladly pay $60+/month for a smart phone to try and chase it all down piece meal in between reading jokes and play games.

For us it will be the print & e-edition - the full package. As they've stated many times before, just in heads up information about sales, the coupons and other deals, I think we get it all for free anyway.

Steve English's picture

Bad Move

Sorry guys, as someone who visits here often (mostly for the local sports). I will be sad to see you guys go and get the news elsewhere (and you can get local news elsewhere).

You overstate how quickly and efficiently you currently deliver web content right now. Your site is poorly run as it is. The layout and functionality is horrible, but it was free.

I understand your need for revenue, but I would put up with more ads, not start a subscription service. Ask how many actual paid subscribers they have... not many...

Good Luck.

Shelly Bradstreet's picture

Bad idea for low-income customers

I can't afford to subscribe and I think it's too easy to get the same news free on the Web. Even though I understand why The Sun Journal needs to make these changes, doesn't mean it will work for me. I will miss this site.

Jason Theriault's picture

Not a good idea

This is a bad idea. Put more adds on the page if you need more money. But pay portals just end up driving people away. Especially when BDN and the Press Herald is free

For now. And doesn't SJ get

For now. And doesn't SJ get most of its content from BDN and press herald, anyway?

I actually am an SJ subscriber (weekend package, thurs - sun and holidays), so if I read this right, I'm going to start getting access to the e-print version without paying an added fee, finally.


Bye Bye

So long Sun Journal its truly been a wonderful attempt of keeping us informed for so long free of charge, however I will not pay for propaganda by any paper! our taxes are too high and your paper has over and over again brought up river development and other projects which cost us millions while at the same time increasing our taxes and decreasing our services! I think I will be reading the telegram especially when I can click on their site and the site actually opens right away every time yours more not than on, and why would I want to pay for that!

DAVE GUDAS's picture


Why are you blaming the Sun Journal for over and over bringing up "river development and other projects"? They "bring them up" (probably report and/or comment would be a better choice of words) because your elected officials create and initiate them. The Sun Journal merely reports on what is happening.
Lose the SJ and good luck keeping up with what is going on locally. Do you know of any other resource the citizenry will have to even hear about what is going on in this community? Twin City Times is about it, and that only publishes weekly and is not nearly as comprehensive.

Twin City Times also has a

Twin City Times also has a blatantly conservative slant.

I love how all those conservatives who complain about people voting for Democrats because they get free stuff are now complaining about not being able to get the SJ (which they accuse of being unabashedly liberal, is his easily disputed) for nothing. DAMN YOU OBAMACARE for taking away my free paper!

Bob Deschenes's picture


Sounds like too much to pay just to find out who died.

John Ponte's picture

This is of no surprise to me.

I don't want the paper delivery to the house .
There has been a rash of break ends in the past, as people casing out a house would just look for the paper laying out side of the house .
I did once have your paper deliver to the house .It would be waiting there wqhen I got out of work .What was in the paper was old news by the time I got around to reading it
Most of the time the paper was just laying in the driveway ,on a raining day it was just a find mush up mess to put into the trash.
Any way I haven't had this paper deliver to my home in years.
An I am not going to start now just to read the same news I can read on all of the rest of the News Papers and on the web , in the state .
Plus the store on the conner has the all the papers on hand .

Good luck on trying to get people into buying up the Paper,just so they can read the same storys on the web.

 's picture

Stop being a liberal rag and

Stop being a liberal rag and democrat butt-snorkling rump-swab and I will gladly pay more for the content. Until's been nice knowing you.

Steve  Dosh's picture

.. New 'bundle' can include 7 papers

LSJ ® Sunday 4 pm hst ?
Way to go ?
You guys should be nominated for e Pulitzer Prize for " Social problems too often rooted in fractured families ."
S e r i o u s
Ma'ha'lo , /s Dr. Dosh and ohana . .

MICHAEL FOX's picture


I had tried in the past to subscribe to the E-edition, only to find I would also get the print edition for free. I don't want the print edition, and don't want to pay the print edition price. Please introduce a subscription for just the e-edition. Since there is no printing involved, I would expect a great rate.

DAVE GUDAS's picture

Not seeing it

Don't understand your grievance.... At this link
They offer the e-Edition only for $69.95/year - and you won't have to tip the carrier!!

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

I concur to a degree

but I would not want the printed version sent to my home. I would be ok with the paid subscription and the Web access and I would have the paper delivered to one of my relatives. So for me I would like to see a choice of giving the paper to a relative or friend as a gift and the web being a joint subscription or alternative since I would be paying for it.



Your post explains how I feel perfectly.


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