While commending its decision to ‘try something new’, former WashingtonPost.com executive editor Jim Brady says plans by the Newport (R.I.) Daily News to charge more for online-only subscriptions is fundamentally flawed.
The paper will charge $145 for an annual print subscription; $245 for print and web access; and $345 a year for online-only.
“[T]his model reeks of desperation. It’s as if, having used all of its bullets in the battle to preserve print revenue, Newport has now decided to throw its gun at the problem.
“The issue with Newport’s model is fundamental. It posits that, in the battle for the mindshare of future readers, print actually has a chance of winning out. I do not believe it does,” he writes.
“Yes, 2009 is different from 2000-2002. But the fundamental lesson remains: you can get some revenue from readers, and there’s nothing wrong with trying; but if in doing so you cut yourself off from the rest of the web in any way, you are dooming yourself to irrelevance and financial decline.”