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Pay websites

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Precious Roy, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. Precious Roy

    Precious Roy Active Member

    Just kicking something around, how many papers represented here still have pay sites? If you were around when they dropped the pay wall, how did things turn out? Did you, or do you, think you will have to go back?
    At my last paper, we dropped the pay wall when I got there, only to have to put it back up when I left, just not enough ad revenue from the small town to make up for it.
    Meanwhile, at my current paper, we have a pay wall and are determined to leave it up even though we are in a town more than twice the size of the last town I was in. My cohorts and I want to start doing stuff with the web like blogs, video, etc to get people to come to us instead of the state's biggest paper (who also has one of the best sites in the country) for information in our neighborhood.
    Am I a fool for wanting this, or should I just go on, give up the ghost about beating the competition on the web and focus on the print product?
  2. cwilson3

    cwilson3 Member

    People flock to free. If you're competing with another newspaper for local news I think pay walls are doom.
  3. Precious Roy

    Precious Roy Active Member

    That's the funny thing, the paper we compete with doesn't have a lot of stuff we have, people just go there because it's free. We are more than an hour and a half apart, but we are always in their shadow and the management is firmly against taking down the pay wall because there isn't enough ad revenue and if we give it away for free we will lose the customers we have in print then, and he hinted at this, we will all lose our jobs cause there will be no money left.
  4. cwilson3

    cwilson3 Member

    Yea we're 10 minutes from our competitor, have another weekly 10 minutes away and a giant metro 30 minutes away, so we can't get away with it.
  5. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    I used to work at a shop with a pay wall. They are a family shop. They have had a small number of layoffs and last year they cut Christmas bonuses (after my departure more than a year earlier). This year, they surprised employees with a "Christmas in June" bonus, last year's bonus doled out retroactively. It came with a note from the publisher saying things are looking up.

    Does that mean they are on to something? I don't know. I know they are in a fairly unique small metro market that gets very little competition for readers from larger papers outside its market. So it has some geographical advantages. I also know they carry very little debt. Having said that, the pay wall has done nothing to hurt their bottom line.

    That is not an endorsement of pay walls, just an observation of a specific case.
  6. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    The word is, all CNHI papers will be going to a total pay wall, some as soon as Sept. 1.

    Of course, that's just the word.
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