A note to readers from the publisher

November 10, 2012 

When macon.com debuted more than 13 years ago, it offered The Telegraph the opportunity to reach you in a form other than print and on a completely different timetable than the early morning delivery of the newspaper to your driveway.

Since that debut, macon.com has grown to be Middle Georgia’s top news site. It is now seen by more than 300,000 unique visitors every week and is on track to set an all-time record for page views this year, eclipsing last year’s record of 77 million.

A few years ago we added an e-edition, a digital replica of the print product that many of you find very useful when you are away from home but still want to read “the paper.” In the past year, we have added a successful mobile app for iOS and Android users, as well as a tablet app for both platforms. Yes, technology has certainly changed both how and when you want your news and information, as well as how we share it with you.

Technology also has changed the business model that pays for the journalism we produce. That is why effective Wednesday we will begin offering The Telegraph Plus, a multiplatform digital subscription plan that allows you to read and enjoy The Telegraph in all its forms.

Starting Wednesday, if you are a current print subscriber you will have free access to all of our digital products until your current subscription renews. At that time, you will have access for just a few cents a day so that you can enjoy The Telegraph any way, anywhere and any time. If you are not a current print subscriber, please go to macon.com/plus to review our subscription options.

Yes, we will now charge for access to all of our platforms, including macon.com. Occasional readers will still have access to our homepage and section fronts such as local news, sports, living and business, but you’ll need a subscription to read more than 15 pages of content in a month. The digital subscription will give you full access to content that is continuously updated. In addition to breaking news, a digital subscription includes all of our photo galleries, videos, blogs, local searchable databases, online commenting, opinion and live chats with reporters and columnists.

We are not the first to do this. In fact, more than 300 newspapers across the country charge for online content. In Georgia, these include The Augusta Chronicle, The (Dalton) Daily Citizen and the Marietta Daily Journal. Earlier this year, the Gannett Company Inc. (which publishes 80 daily newspapers, including USA Today) and Lee Enterprises Inc. (which publishes 52 daily newspapers) announced plans to establish paid access models as well.

Speaking of other newspapers, you may have heard that some have eliminated their printed edition on certain days, and some publications have gone totally web-only. Not us. We will continue to print a newspaper seven days a week that contains the in-depth analysis, investigations and narrative storytelling that you depend on.

Over the next few weeks, you’ll see more information about these changes. Current print subscribers will receive more information -- including rate changes for your particular subscription plan -- by mail with your renewal notices.

Until your renewal, access to our digital platforms will be complimentary for current subscribers who activate a Telegraph Plus account.

We also welcome your feedback on The Telegraph Plus. If you have any questions or comments, drop us a note at customerservice@macon.com or call (800) 679-6397, and press option 8, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to speak with a digital plus representative.

We appreciate your reading The Telegraph, whether in print, at macon.com, our mobile site, our smartphone apps, your tablet or the e-Telegraph. We are headed into our 187th year as committed as ever to delivering you journalism that earns your trust and makes a difference in your life and in our community.