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.


Mr. Holly

I too canceled my subscription to The Trib months ago when I went out one Monday morning to retreive the paper and there was hardly anything there to justify the walk in the cold weather.

The Trib might reconsider their decision and think about paying us the readers. Most of the time the greatest benefit for the paper is reading all of the ads for the different sales in the area. I would have to say that this will be sudden death for The Trib and for most of their employees.

This may have been caused by the recent plastic bag ordinance. How in the world were they going to deliver the paper in wet weather? Did this last storm turn the heat up on them to make their decision. As you might remember there is a hefty fine and possible jail time for using plastic bags in this county.

What goes arouind comes around.

May The Trin R.I.P.

Jack L

Well, that’s it for me. I’ll not pay a cent for what they produce.


This is really funny news! Does the Trib really think their poop is so odorless that they can charge online for their old, incomplete, and biased news? Good luck with that Trib. Also, if you post comments on their site, be prepared to be bullied by their in house poster, Antonio (Tony) Prado; AKA “TOP”.

I stopped reading their twaddle long ago. Now the only use I have for their rag is starting fires.


slowtime I have to disagree with you. You can do more than start fires. It could be used in place of toilet paper if need be. It lines the bottom of a bird cage well. You can use it to clean windows for a streak free shine. Fish wrap. Using for packing. Example they will have pleanty on hand to use to pack up when they go out of business.

Anyone else have any ideas for this rag???


Yup, it makes a good liner for the bottom of kitty liter boxes. No wet clumps stuck on the bottom.

I cancelled my subscription to the Tribune several months ago because my cat quit using his box and started accessing his kitty door instead.


I have news for you, your cat is till using a litter box, it may be the neighbors front yard or flower garden. Not sure they appreciate it.


LOL, I have 1 cat, the neighbors have 5. There is plenty of open space around here.


Many posters have left the Tribune. They offer no moderation but if 3 posters hit the “report abuse key” the post will be AUTOMATICALLY DELETED. Consequently, people would form pacts and I have seen threads where near every post got deleted! However, if someone bashed CCN, Velie or Blackburn the Tribune would override the complaints button and leave the post up. I once tested this fact by contacting over 8 different individuals to go over there and hit the report abuse button. The post remained and I have no doubt that others had reported the abuse as well.

It’s also true about TOP. He was an insider. I rarely read or post at the Tribune any longer.



Of course now that I think of the way they report, guess I shouldn’t be surprised at the way they would handle their comments page. I’ve been on their comments page once or twice in four years. It is about as scintillating as a pile of dogsh*t.


Well there goes Bob Cuddy’s column. I can’t imagine any sane person will pay to read his sewer gas.


I am not inclined to pay to get the fluffy news. Same reason I quit subscribing to the Trib’s hard copy.

Trib rarely takes on the hard hitting stuff that the public needs to have, in fact, if its one of their buddies they go the extra mile to minimize the issues.

That in part is why the County has so many crooked people because the Trib wont expose these rats until CCN or New Times break the story first.

Perfect examples are Karen Guth and Lisa Solomon (who coincidently was awarded the Tribunes “top 20 under 40”


Remember Cuddy’s “Swamp Gas” essay? That was horrid…


“digital advertising revenues grew 4.9 percent with digital-only advertising revenues up 16.8 percent.”

Digital-only advertising is up 16.8 % and they want to charge $70.00 a year for a digital subscription? They should leave well enough alone as I suspect the hits will go down considerably when they start charging to read local spin and that is about all that they offer.


In other news…..

“Local newspapers don’t earn much respect from a majority of Americans, a new Pew Research Center survey reveals.

Most of the 2,000 people interviewed for the survey said they wouldn’t miss their local paper if it disappeared. They also said they wouldn’t have any trouble finding pertinent news if their local paper no longer existed.”

Good luck, Tribune!


It already has marginal value at Free.


Good luck with THAT plan!



I have wondered how the Trib makes money, with people like me accessing their content for free. I think, however, I am paying what it’s worth :) , and I will probably quit accessing the site at all if I gotta start paying for it.

Makes me wonder, too, how sites like CCN pay the bills when they are giving away their content…


When you have something worth reading and actually go after tthose comitting the crimes be they government or not, advertisers know that if they pay to support a site the readers follow and support them, this is something the Trib has not figured out yet.

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