Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Paywalls are coming

With the success of the New York Times' paywall, they're acomin' all across the land. Lee Newspapers announced plans for a paywall today, and there are reports that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will set up a paywall in the near future.

Frankly, such a move makes sense -- as long as its priced properly (for example, free to print subscribers, a reasonable price for on-line only purchasers. But don't underestimate the stupidity of media managers. Lee, for example, is going to charge even print subscribers if they look at too much. The Journal Sentinel already has increased its price even while downsizing both the amount of content and its staff.* That sure makes a lot of sense: less product for more money. Hummm, wonder why circulations continue to drop.

* The Journal Sentinel is planning another round of staff downsizing. Reports are that it's aimed mostly at non-newsroom staff. Firing it's incredibly overpaid and poor performing CEO would provide much more money while retaining valuable content producers and sales staff.

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