Denver television station KDVR reported Tuesday, that faced with a shrinking number of print subscriptions, The Tribune, Greeley’s largest daily newspaper, has announced it will begin charging customers for much of its online content starting in November.
Tribune Publisher, Bart Smith, in an article posted on greeleytribune.com this week, stated the paper has made the decision to charge for its content both online and in print. Smith said, “We believe we will be successful with online subscriptions for the same reasons that most local community newspapers continue to be successful.”
Mr. Smith seems to ignore the fact that nationally, local community newspapers are failing in ever increasing numbers. More popular than trying to charge fewer readers more money, is the model of combining several locals under one umbrella management and consolidating sales and reporting staff personal. Such programs are easily found by searching for ‘community media’ online.
As an example, Smith points to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel which erected a paywall last October and says it has seen a steady increase in subscriptions since then. However, Grand Junction is a community not well covered by the neighborhood sections on the FOX network’s website free of charge. Greeley is not only well covered, the FOX channel is often ahead of The Tribune in breaking stories online.
The Tribune’s current plans are to charge daily print subscribers $1 a month to access all of its online content. Customers who only want the online version will pay $8.95 a month.
Greeley residents have been discovering an alternative for local and important state and national issues in the free online Greeley Gazette. Greeley Gazette publisher, Brett Reese, explains that, unlike the historic model of charging readers, as The Tribune has chosen to follow, the Greely Gazette online is updated throughout the day, carries breaking news, and is made available free to readers since it employs a modern business model developed in the internet era.
A quick internet search reveals several stories broken by the Gazette went national in the past year, while in that same time period The Tribune seemed to have missed national attention entirely.