Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Only 35 Subscribers Pay to Enter Through Newsday Pay Wall

In late October, Newsday, the Long Island daily put its web site, newsday.com, behind a pay wall.

So, three months later, how many people have signed up to pay $5 a week, or $260 a year, to get unfettered access to newsday.com?

New York Observer's John Koblin has the answer:
35 people. As in fewer than three dozen. As in a decent-sized elementary-school class.

That astoundingly low figure was revealed in a newsroom-wide meeting last week by publisher Terry Jimenez when a reporter asked how many people had signed up for the site. Mr. Jimenez didn't know the number off the top of his head, so he asked a deputy sitting near him. He replied 35.

Michael Amon, a social services reporter, asked for clarification.

"I heard you say 35 people," he said, from Newsday's auditorium in Melville. "Is that number correct?"

Mr. Jimenez nodded.

Hellville, indeed.

The web site redesign and relaunch cost the Dolans $4 million, according to Mr. Jimenez. With those 35 people, they've grossed about $9,000.

In that time, without question, web traffic has begun to plummet, and, certainly, advertising will follow as well.

Of course, there are a few caveats. Anyone who has a newspaper subscription is allowed free access; anyone who has Optimum Cable, which is owned by the Dolans and Cablevision, also gets it free. Newsday representatives claim that 75 percent of Long Island either has a subscription or Optimum Cable.


  1. Wonder how many of the "35 people" who bought in were indeed subscribers to paper or cable? I've noticed that stupidity and ignorance (when expressed) seems to draw the stupid and ignorant in droves!

  2. People don't want to pay for being lied to; Newsday promoted Obama as our economic and political savior and also promoted Iraq as an existential threat to the U.S. Both propaganda campaigns have been proven to be false. I say good riddance to these idiots - the sooner they go bankrupt and stop polluting the internet with their pro-government lies the better.

  3. A. Magnus Publius: