Readers of MediaNews Group’s small- and medium-sized newspapers in California, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Massachusetts and Vermont will pay for online content under a metered model starting today, even if they are print subscribers. MediaNews publishes 57 daily newspapers in 11 states; its larger newspapers remain free.
Readers at the 23 affected newspapers will be able to read five pages of editorial content for free each month before they’re required to subscribe. Print subscribers will pay $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year for online access, while non-print subscribers will pay $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year. MediaNews Group is using Press+ to run the subscriptions.
In addition to the five free pages, the newspapers’ home pages, classifieds, obituaries and announcements will remain free.
Other newspapers that have enacted digital subscription models recently, such as six Lee Enterprises (NYSE: LEE) papers and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, allowed a larger amount of content to be read for free. The Lee papers offered 15 to 20 free page views each month, and always-free content included section fronts and blogs. The Star-Advertiser also kept section fronts and blogs free and is not charging print subscribers for online access.
The company does not currently plan to extend the metered paywall to its larger newspapers, such as the Salt Lake City Tribune or the Denver Post. There are already metered paywalls in effect at three other MNG papers, the Chico Enterprise-Record, York Daily Record and York Dispatch.
The following newspapers are affected by the new policy:
Daily Democrat (Woodland)
Lake County Record-Bee (Lakeport)
Red Bluff Daily News
Redlands Daily Facts
The Reporter (Vacaville)
The Ukiah Daily Journal
Whittier Daily News