They are conceding that the CPM online advertising model doesn't work for newspapers (or blogs, either, for that matter). When asked point blank about $20/CPM rates advertised by the KNS, publisher Patrick Birmingham told me to my face that sure, they get those rates. I didn't believe him then, and I don't believe it now. This seems to confirm it. Not that $20/CPMs would pay for the big metal shed on the hill anyway.
Unanswered is whether print subscribers will get online access included or will have to pay extra for it.
Print subscriptions have never paid for the print production, distribution, and reporters. Advertising does. And it influences the editorial content at the expense of progressive public policy and better local and state government. Will paid online subscriptions be any different? Not likely.
And with the severe cutbacks in reporting and other editorial content (most of which now seems to come from the Chattanooga, Memphis and Nashville papers under "content sharing" agreements), will people still be willing to pay for an inferior product, either print or online? Will the neanderthal KNS commenters be willing to pay extra to spew their racist, right-wing vitriol on the KNS website? Is that the new KNS business model?
Should be interesting.
The bottom line problem is that many among the Napster generation are conditioned to think that information has no value and that intellectual property should be given away for free. They've clearly never gone down to the courthouse to sit through interminable meeting after meeting of the County Commission, School Board, etc. to report on the proceedings, or otherwise created anything of value themselves.
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