Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News will launch separate paywalled sites

NetNewsCheck
The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News will split from Philly.com in early 2013, Meg Heckman reports. Philly.com general manager Steve Alessi tells Heckman the new sites will have paywalls.

All three entities are owned by Interstate General Media, which purchased them in April. IGM spokesperson Mark Block confirms the report. There will be three websites, with philly.com remaining open access, unlike the new sites for the Inquirer and the Daily News, which will both have paywalls.

“The precise launch date is not confirmed, but our time frame is first quarter 2013,” he writes in an email to Poynter.

The Boston Globe instituted a similar pay site in 2011, putting much of its premium content at BostonGlobe.com and leaving Boston.com with “teasers for all Globe stories and a select number of full stories, as well as hyperlocal sites, sports, entertainment and travel coverage,” as Poynter’s Jeff Sonderman wrote at the time. Globe Editor Marty Baron told Sonderman the premium site would be “a true reading experience for people who like and appreciate journalism and value our editorial judgments.” The premium site has about 25,000 subscribers.

Baron was recently named the incoming executive editor of The Washington Post, which is also reportedly considering a paywall.

As we reported last week, more than 360 U.S. papers will charge for digital content by the end of the year, says News & Tech, including Gannett, Tribune, MediaNews, Media General papers now owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, and of course The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Coming next year are E.W. Scripps, McClatchy and others.

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