Thursday, January 28, 2010

Newsday Web Content Fee Hits a (Pay) Wall

MELVILLE, NY - APRIL 22:  The Newsday headquar...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
For The New York Times and other print journalism leviathans moving toward charging Web site visitors to view content, comes grim news from a Long Island daily's experiment with pay walls.

Newsday, for which the Dolan family. paid $650 million, along with another $4 million for a redesign and launch of the paper's Web site (, has yielded 35 subscribers since it erected a pay wall last October. To receive unfettered access to the site, subscribers pay $5 a week or $260 a year, which means the Dolans have grossed $9,000 on their $4 million investment.

Subscribers to the print edition and to the Dolan/Cablevision-owned Optimum Cable receive free access to the Web site. According to Nielsen Media Online, traffic to Newsday's Web site dropped in December to 1.5 million unique visitors, from 2.2 million unique visitors in October before the pay wall went up. Piling on the misery, Newsday reportedly lost $7 million during the first three quarters of 2009. And last week, employees rejected a proposed 10 percent pay cut by a vote of 473-10.

The only solace to the Dolans is that next to Newsday, owning the NY Knicks doesn't seem so bad.

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1 comment:

  1. John Steinbeck used to write a column for Newsday. Yes, THAT John Steinbeck. I guess that was a while ago, huh?