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.



Could the Tribune building be made into a Sam’s Club or is it too small?


That or put a CCN in there. Get a real news organization, that is getting the news out.


I think the Tribune’s campus would be a millstone around CCN’s neck. Successful media companies are going to have low overhead. The days of having a presence in the community via monumental architecture are long gone — except for gov’t agencies it would appear.


The Kansas City Star ( a McClatchy paper) disclosed that besides the paywall there would be “special features” that cost additional money to subscribers…

” New digital package subscribers will receive the first month for .99 cents. The digital subscription will automatically renew at the $9.95 per month price.”


This is a sad story. I would hate to see the Trib go out of business as many of the posters on this site seem to relish. We would have no local daily newspaper — a newspaper that covers local events, “good news” stories, and sports.If the Trib folds, where do we get this coverage?

The hateful comments on this site get read by many people and contribute to the low morale of staff and decision makers. Who would want to try to create a newspaper in this hostile environment? It discourages any one from even trying. I would not blame Mr. Ray for closing up shop and not look back on this thankless community.


pasogal, The Tribune has attacked CCN from day one rather than recognize that CCN is a legitimate media source that delivers the hard hitting local news, they have thrown mudd and even resorted to name calling !! In fact the Tribune went out of their way to attempt to write counter/cover-up stories to those of CCN only to end up with mud in their faces every time. The Tribune refused to even mention CCN by name (referring to an unnamed local blog) for years when they wrote their bias counter productive fluff for the Good Ole Boys and local powers that be. That is, until George Ramos (CCN’s editor) died, a well know Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, whose passing was reported nationally, the Tribune then had no choice but to mention the name CalCoastNews.

Why would anyone respect the Tribune? Yes they carry the sports pages and report the scores accurately.



Rather than seeing the Trib go out of business, I think what we haters want to see is the Trib become relevant.

Keep in mind, too, it was the *community* that allowed the Trib to have a successful run for the past hundred years (well, successful for most of the time, anyway). It’s not our fault that the Trib is unable or unwilling to morph into something useful in the 21st century.


Good riddance.


The problem is that the Tribune has not been providing a quality product for many years.

The Tribune flat-out ignores important news that might be deleterious to their ad revenue and/or the personal political beliefs of their publisher/editorial staff. That’s unacceptable. I once bumped-into a pro-life march against the evils of abortion in Downtown SLO. There was a huge number of people marching, several streets were blocked off, all sorts of law enforcement on hand, the whole bit. A big, impressive effort. I looked forward to reading about it in the paper the next morning. NOT A SINGLE WORD! That’s just wrong Mr. Ray and it’s that sort of arrogance that is now coming back to nail you now.

When the Tribune actually does report/comment on something, often times the journalism is astoundingly poor. Mr. Bob Cuddy’s “swamp gas” defense of Lisa Soloman-Chitty comes to might. That piece was head-shaking bad yet it made its way into the paper. Again, no good Mr. Ray.

And finally Mr. Ray, you’re a finance/accounting person. What in the world gave you the idea that you could be a successful publisher? I believe the limits of your own preparation as a newspaper publisher are one of the factors taking a huge toll on the Tribune today.


The Tribune circulaion is hardly equal to the LA Times, Chicago Tribune or the NY Times. This will be the death of the Trib. But, then again, they “jumped the shark” many moons ago.


Good for the Trib. Maybe it will keep most of the haters, bigots and misanthropes here at CCN where they belong.


Bob Cuddy is that you?


It’s more likely to be a certain County supervisor, known for clandestine behavior and who may imagine himself to be a Snake Pliskin character (Escape from New York by John Carpenter).


I thought he was from New Jersey…


It will lose a substantial advertising base.


As soon as I get the “pay or quit” warning from the Trib, I will be quitting!


As soon as I get the “pay or quit” warning from the Trib, I will be quitting! I only go there for a few things, so no big loss! I do hope CCN starts updating this site more often and adding more to it.


HA Ha Ha Ha pretty funny tribune! I don’t even go there now while it’s free!


Publisher Bruce Ray might consider increasing the quality of what he publishes, instead of charging people for content they don’t believe is worth paying for.


He has no choice it’s McClatchy wide. There is this little problem with debt.

McClatchy refi $700 million.

Perhaps someone wants to buy some 9% notes?

“The McClatchy Company today completed an offering of secured notes via bookrunners J.P. Morgan, Bank of America, and Credit Suisse, according to sources. ”


What good is being a McClatchy Company if only McClatchy personnel read it?