Monday, May 7, 2007

'How to Sink a Newspaper'

Walter E. Hussman Jr. has an interesting commentary in today's Wall Street Journal, titled "How to Sink a Newspaper." He says that newspapers are hurting themselves by offering free news online. Here's an interesting paragraph:

"The Inland Cost and Revenue Study shows that newspapers will generate between $500 and $900 in revenue per subscriber per year. But a newspaper's Web site typically generates $5 to $10 per unique visitor per year. It may be that newspaper Web sites as an advertising medium, and free news, just can't generate the revenue to sustain a valued news operation."

The Wall Street Journal happens to be one of those Web sites that charges for its content, so you might not be able to access Hussman's article, but here's the link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117849835415093994.html?mod=opinion_main_commentaries

Speaking of which, The Wall Street Journal Online has 931,000 subscribers, which is huge for a Web site. To compare that to old-school print, every other newspaper in the U.S. has fewer subscribers except for The Wall Street Journal (print edition), USA Today, and The New York Times.

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