I’ve been an Anchorage resident since 1980, when we had two newspapers : The locally owned Anchorage Times and the Anchorage Daily News (owned by McClatchy since 1979).
With their deep pockets, McClatchy put the Times out of business, which left Anchorage with just one, corporately owned newspaper, putting out the standard, big government propaganda — acting like Alan Keyes and Ron Paul weren’t even in the Presidential debates, over the years.
And now they want to charge $79.95 a year to read their articles online! I just now found out, because apparently I never read enough articles a month to reach the limit:
Here is ADN’s original announcement:
And here is more of the rest of the story from the Anchorage Press:
Letter: Paywall screams desperation
Very soon, visitors to the Anchorage Daily News’ website will be expected to pay for subscription access to read online content. ADN publisher Pat Doyle stated, “We can no longer expect only advertisers and print subscribers to shoulder the complete burden of supporting news-gathering and distribution… Having all our readers share that cost is an essential and important step toward preserving the foundations of a free and independent press for future generations of Alaskans.”
Curiously enough, Doyle makes no mention to Alaskans that the online paywall is part of a nationwide initiative by McClatchy, their parent company, to introduce paywalls to all their newspapers. Not only is failing to disclose this exceedingly misleading, but Doyle’s claims are virtually meritless. McClatchy posted roughly $54.4 million in net income and a sheer $1.3 billion in revenue for 2011. Of that revenue, $956.3 million was attributed to advertising and $262.3 million to circulation. However, in a press release on their third quarter earnings, McClatchy president Pat Talamantes said the paywalls “could add more than $20 million” in new revenue for 2013. $20 million compared to the $262.3 million they make in circulation screams either unenthusiasm or bad idea or both. It also trivializes the supposed necessity of the paywalls, considering the number of readers they’re likely to upset with them, if not lose entirely.