New York Times Ready to Charge Online Readers

I will miss it, but honestly, I do not see myself likely to start paying for this news source. Were I a media professional living and working in New York, I might have a different opinion. I’ll check out a copy in the library if I hear of something that’s a must-read.

The argument for remaining free was based on the belief that
nytimes.com is growing into an English-language global newspaper of
record, with a vast audience — 20 million unique readers — that,
Nisenholtz and others believed, would prove lucrative as web
advertising matured. (The nytimes.com homepage, for example, has sold
out on numerous occasions in the past year.) As other papers failed to
survive the massive migration to the web, the Times would be
the last man standing and emerge with even more readers. Going paid
would capture more circulation revenue, but risk losing significant
traffic and with it ad dollars. At an investor conference this fall,
Nisenholtz alluded to this tension: “At the end of the day, if we don’t
get this right, a lot of money falls out of the system.”

But with the painful declines in advertising brought on by last
year’s financial crisis, the argument pushed by Keller and others —
that online advertising might never grow big enough to sustain the
paper’s high-cost, ambitious journalism — gained more weight. The view
was that the Times needed to make the leap to some form of paid content and it needed to do it now. —NY Mag