Carter Johnson

In the wake of our neighboring newspaper group, Lillie Suburban News, closing its doors, a family came in to talk to me about making a significant voluntary subscription payment. They said they wanted to buy future subscriptions for Cerenity Senior Care center residents in White Bear Lake, so the papers would continue to be delivered. This husband and wife team told the story of how a parent was at the care center and said the newspaper was an important part of her week. This was so impactful that they have pre-paid for papers to be made available to seniors at Cerenity and neighboring senior centers for years to come. 

This newspaper relies on several sources of revenue. The primary source is advertising revenue, from the display-style marketing on the pages of this paper to the inserts that ride along. Secondary sources of revenue are subscriptions, digital marketing and public notices.

Our regular readers and longtime subscribers are aware that twice annually we conduct a subscription drive. For those of you new to the area or a new reader, here is a quick explanation of how we operate:

Our mission is to be the best source of community news and information. We want to provide a vibrant community newspaper that helps connect residents to each other and to happenings in local government, schools, community groups, businesses, sports and entertainment. We follow traditional journalistic standards — standards that other media outlets, such as the worldwide web, never had and may never have. We make a clear distinction between advertising and news, and acknowledge when copy is paid. Our goal is to provide our advertisers a tried and true way to promote their products or services to a local audience, but we do not let advertising dictate our news coverage as many magazines do.

Press Publications’ newspapers utilize a variety of delivery styles. We are one of very few newspapers in the country still using youth carriers to deliver papers. We also use adult carriers and motor route drivers, and in some areas, our products are delivered through the United States Postal Service. If you ever experience issues with your delivery service, give us a call and we will work to figure it out.  

We are also one of a shrinking number of newspapers utilizing a voluntary subscription model. Most “free” papers have had to move to subscriptions to stay alive. If you are an online news junkie, then you know most digital news outlets require a payment after a couple of page views or to access the stories you really want to read.

The obvious question one may ask as they consider a subscription is why would anyone pay for a free paper? Let me share what your paid subscription does. First, it offsets the rising cost of newsprint. The last few years we have had significant increases in the price of paper. Paid subscriptions subsidize the cost of delivery, allowing the paper to be available to everyone in the community who wants it. As always, tips are passed on to our carriers. Finally, subscriptions help us employ professional journalists  who provide our readers a newspaper rich in relevant local topics. 

We need your support through a subscription more than ever. In many of our markets, we have limited participation among readers, yet we know regular readers enjoy our product. If you enjoy reading this paper, help us make sure we can continue to keep publishing the news that you use by becoming a subscriber or continuing your subscription.

Again, thank you to all our past supporters who have been with us through the ups and downs. Thank you to our subscribers who help us stay grounded in your neighborhood and rooted in your community.

If you have read or learned something that was beneficial to your family or life in our community in the past month, I would like to ask you to subscribe today by calling our office, filling out the envelope or flyer that was in our newspapers or subscribe online at Thank you for your consideration.


Carter Johnson is publisher of Press Publications.

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