San Luis Obispo Tribune putting up a paywall

December 3, 2012

The San Luis Obispo Tribune announced it plans to start charging readers on Dec. 5 for online access.

Online viewers who do not already subscribe to the paper will be prompted, after viewing 15 pages in a 30-day period, to purchase a subscription or lose access, a program the Tribune’s parent company McClatchy already test ran at the Modesto Bee.

In a press release about its second quarter earnings, McClatchy says it plans “to roll out a metered plan in the third quarter in five of our markets.” After that wave is launched, in the fourth quarter, it will start charging for online access at the company’s 24 remaining papers.

“We will offer readers a combined print and digital subscription package that will include access to web, certain mobile and replica editions for a relatively small increase to print home-delivery rates. We’ll also offer online-only digital subscriptions to users after they read a certain number of pages,” the press release says.

Newspaper publishers from throughout the country, suffering from dwindling print advertising and subscription revenue, are hoping to offset the declines through online paywalls. Papers such as The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times have already introduced paywalls.

McClatchy revenues for the second quarter of 2012 were down 4.8 percent from the second quarter of 2011. Advertising revenues were down 5.7 percent from 2011, and circulation revenues were down 2.4 percent.

During the same period of time, digital advertising revenues grew 4.9 percent with digital-only advertising revenues up 16.8 percent.


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It all boils down to this:

News is worth exactly what you pay for it.

Only an idiot would expect quality journalism for nothing.

Not true. For decades, there WAS a lot of quality news reporting in papers, the TV and on the radio. The TV and radio broadcasts were free and newspapers cost a only a few coins.

Despite your assertion, I’m not an idiot and I DO still expect quality journalism–from this site, the Fibune, and other online news organizations. Do I always get it? No. Too many sites like the Fibune hide stories they don’t agree with and spin other events so they fit their own agenda. (It happens on the Left AND on the Right, BTW.)

So hey Fibune: I just want the news. Period. It’s easy. My middle schooler could write better than some of those Fib writers do. What happened? When? Where? Who? etc… It shouldn’t matter if the story is about a local official, a businessman, a plumber, whatever… Just tell us what happened in an accurate, unbiased and timely manner. If you did that, Fibune, maybe you wouldn’t have to sink to charging your fleeing customers just to read your online site.

“TV & Radio are free”

An ignorant statement like that is exactly why we have the rapid proliferation of other idiots, er “entertainers” like Limbaugh masquerading as sources of political news after the dissolution of the “Fairness Doctrine,” the last vestige of any commitment by the media corporations to the public for the gift of the greatest publicly-owned resource we have—the electronic spectrum.

That resource is finite, and we gave it away with barely a whimper. And for that, we suffer every day with idiotic political commentary and half-rate news journalism.

If we look at what makes a great news site or a great newspaper, it is simply because it is interesting…. and at some level helps make our world a better place.

So how do you make things interesting?

First, you must offer different points of view. People like to compare and contrast ways of looking at the world and come to their own conclusions.

Secondly, yes you must cover what is right with a community. People like to see how its done well.

Thirdly, and importantly, you must be willing to say the ‘unsayable’. If something is wrong with Cal Poly, the County Government, business or our schools , it needs to be covered thoroughly and completely. Let the chips fall where they may.

When you look at how well the Tribune is addressing the above three factors ( I am sure you might have your own or other additions)… you can see that the Tribune is like some of our rising local taxes that ask for more and give you back nothing interesting.

CCN is always…. interesting.

Well said, Roger. The Trib has been in the back pocket of city/county government for a long time. They repeatedly ignore stories that may be unflattering to politicians and prominent business people. Their liberal slant is blatantly obvious and they make zero attempt to present both sides of situations. Frankly, I’ll gladly say adios to Bob “Swamp Gas” Cuddy, Joe “I-think-I-know-it-all” Tarica, and the other left-leaning columnists at the Trib. At least at CCN, they print op eds from the Left and the Right AND they investigate stories about politicians on the Left and the Right.

Posted 3/13/2006 7:46 AM Updated 3/13/2006 12:14 PM

McClatchy to buy Knight Ridder for $4.5 billion

By David Lieberman, USA TODAY

NEW YORK — After years of struggling to grow its readership, profits, and stock price, No. 2 newspaper publisher Knight Ridder (KRI) threw in the towel Monday. It accepted an offer of $4.5 billion cash and stock from McClatchy (MNI), a newspaper publisher less than half Knight Ridder’s size.

“Opportunities like this come along once in a company’s lifetime,” McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt told analysts. “These papers are a natural fit for us.”…

Yeah, I got the letter that said they were going to charge me an additional $2.50 on top of the rate increase that is coming; and I supposedly will have access to the web. I think I’ll just cancel altogether, as it is not something I want and they never even asked me.

I just don’t read the trib as much as I would like to… it’s all so… “phoned in” lately.

After subscribing to the Trib since 1986, we canceled our subscription to get only Sat and Sun.. It was done on the phone speaking to a very nice woman. However, since I am always curious, (and can detect foreign accents ever tho they try to hide them) I asked where she was located. She told me the Phillipines. So, if you call the local 781 number and then that sweet voice says she will transfer you, you will be transferred to a answering shop somewhere other than the U.S. I have grown tired of paying for pages of doctors trying to outdo each other in saying how wonderful their health care is or certain hospitals doing the same. The full page ads are too much. Also since, both the opinion of editor and Joe U said we need more ‘upsale stores’ I know its the wrong paper for me. It has changed so much; the negative attitude towards the more unfortunate (homeless) and the devotion to the ever growing wine industry. Those are strictly right wing ideas. Don’t call it liberal. It’s not.