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June 18 2013

17:44

“Having compelling content is one thing, but if you provide that, the reader will have to pay more”

Paul Godfrey has been CEO of Canada’s largest newspaper chain, the Postmedia Network, for three years. In that time he’s cut more than 2,000 jobs, made two-thirds of content replicable across papers, hiked the cost of subscriptions, and rejiggered the business model toward earning roughly 50 percent of revenue from ads and 50 percent from circulation. In Canada’s Marketing magazine, he discusses his plans for his next three years in charge.

“We will continue over the next three years to downsize the legacy costs [and] outsource where we can,” said Godfrey. “We are going to be a much smaller revenue company and a very much smaller expense company by living with a smaller number of staffers and people doing more. Hopefully we’ll be a more profitable company as a result.”

Postmedia, which owns what used to be the Canwest chain of Canadian newspapers, owns major papers in Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, and other Canadian cities, along with the National Post.

August 17 2010

14:03

New US local paper paywall divides readership

Yesterday’s paywall launch on the website of New York Times Company owned paper the Worcester Telegram and Gazette appears to have divided its users, according to a report by the EditorsWebLog.

Following in the footsteps of national publications, the site has introduced a payment model which charges users to access local reports, although does offer a free allowance of up to 10 articles a month. Those with print subscriptions will have not have to pay extra to access content online.

One reader thinks, “as someone who moved from the area 20 years ago, but still likes to think of the area as home, I guess I’ll be looking for a new source to keep current on the news- I won’t be paying to read an article because I think I recognize a name in a byline.” Another writes that, “I will now rely on the local Spencer Leader, Barre Gazette, and word of mouth to alert me news and happenings.

Not all comments are negative, as readers who already have a paid subscription to the print version have full access to the online content. “As a paid subscriber who has been supporting the free online access, I am most pleased with this new policy,” a reader stated.

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