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One Man’s Plan for NY Times, Have Online Subscription Fee

Henry Blodget at Silicon Valley Insider advances his Plan to Fix The New York Times in three steps:

  1. Cut costs 40% by 2010.
  2. Continue to raise print subscription prices
  3. Explore charging an online subscription fee

I am most intrigued by the idea of no firewall but still a fee. Anyone can link to the stories and you can see the linked stories. However, if you want to read the entire site, then you have to be a subscriber. Blodget sets the fee at $80 a year. It’s an intriguing idea.

On making the cuts, I like the comment by Dan, who writes:

I don’t recall who said it originally, but Henry’s comments on cutting the newsroom staff reminds me of the following (paraphrasing): “The newspaper business is the only one that tries to fix itself by making its product demonstratively worse.”
However, Dan is not totally correct, in fact, companies that realize they can’t fight the disruptive technologies just keep cutting and cutting to retain whatever revenue they can until they go out of business. Newspapers might be doing just that as their exit strategies, maybe not consciously but it is happening and Philip Meyer in his book The Vanishing Newspaper saw it coming a few years ago.
Of course, others like Felix Salmon think Blodget’s plan is, well, idiotic.

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