By paulgillin | March 29, 2011 - 6:41 am - Posted in Fake News

The pundits (ourselves included) just can’t get enough of analyzing, trashing and otherwise second-guessing The New York Times‘ new online subscription plan. Here are some recent posts we noticed.

Steve Outing Pretty Much Trashes the NYT Paywall

For starters, it’s too expensive. The $15/mo minimum makes the Times all but inaccessible to cash-strapped young readers, which happen to be the people the paper most needs to engage. He also hates the defensive posturing publishers are using to justify subscription fees: “We need to do this to survive.”

Now THERE’s an incentive to customers to support you: Tell them if they don’t, you’re going to go out of business. How’s that working out for you, General Motors?

Outing points to the Times‘ own David Carr as the source of the right price: $4.99/mo. Respondents to Carr’s defense of the paywall plan posted on repeatedly refer to that fee as one they can swallow. Is anyone upstairs listening?

How To Hack the New York Times Paywall … With Your Delete Key

Mashable reports a new way to easily breach the paywall: “Readers need only remove “?gwh=numbers” from the URL. They can also clear their browser caches, or switch browsers as soon as they see the subscription prompt. All three of these simple fixes will let them continue reading.”

The NYT’s Melting Iceberg Syndrome

Frédéric Filloux suggests that The New York Times could improve its profitability by going to Sunday-only publication and forgetting about the other six days of the week, at least in print. “Sunday circulation is 54% higher than on weekdays…Sunday copy sales bring five times more money than any weekday…Some analysts say the Sunday NYT accounts for about 50% of the paper’s entire advertising revenue.”

If the Times could cut more than half its expenses by eliminating six days’ worth of print, it could theoretically make more money by publishing less frequently.

We also liked Filloux’ use of an iceberg as the analogy for a business that’s collapsing from within: “As an iceberg melts, the resulting change of shape can cause it to list gradually or to become unstable and topple over suddenly.” See any similarities to what’s happening to print?

A Big Op to Upgrade Op-Ed at New York Times

Alan Mutter believe the departure of Times columnists Frank Rich and Bob Herbert presents an historic opportunity for the Old Gray Lady to become the amazing technicolor dreamcoat of diversity of opinion. If Times‘ columnists are so smart, how come they missed the historic events going on the Middle East? Mutter asks. That’s what happens when your world is limited to Manhattan and the Beltway.

“Instead of dedicating the bulk of its limited and precious op-ed space to another generation of slightly more diverse Pooh-Bahs, the Times should publish the best of the online conversations in its print editions,” the Newsosaur recommends. That would be both good journalism and good promotion for the Time’s pricey paywall.

New York Times Digital Subscriptions: The Unofficial FAQ Updated has a useful rundown of the ins and outs of the Times‘ paywall, including pricing tiers, thresholds and platforms. Can you get a family account to You’ll just have to read this FAQ to find out.

From the Onion:’s Plan To Charge People Money For Consuming Goods, Services Called Bold Business Move

“In a move that media executives, economic forecasters, and business analysts alike are calling ‘extremely bold,’ put into place a groundbreaking new business model today in which the news website will charge people money to consume the goods and services it provides.”



This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 29th, 2011 at 6:41 am and is filed under Fake News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. March 29, 2011 @ 1:41 pm

    btw: “Black And White And Dead All Over”, the satirical crime by veteran NYT reporter John Darnton is
    really worth it”s while when read.

    Posted by Joe
  2. April 5, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

    This is an excellent overview about Times and their paywall mess. I have put together some additional reading on the subject that hopefully will be interesting to you.

    Posted by Steven Appenzeller