McClatchy: Paywall coming to Kansas City Star, other markets

The Star’s parent company today announced it would be implementing a paywall in all of its markets by the end of the year. In the company’s quarterly earnings report, McClatchy president and CEO Pat Talamantes said a metered plan would roll out in several markets in the third quarter, followed by the rest of the McClatchy family in the fourth quarter.

His statement: “We are also offering new subscription packages to our readers. After a number of experiments and analysis on pay models, we intend to roll out a metered plan in the third quarter in five of our markets.  We will offer readers a combined print and digital subscription package that will include access to web, certain mobile and replica editions for a relatively small increase to print home-delivery rates. We’ll also offer online-only digital subscriptions to users after they read a certain number of pages. Once the first wave is launched, we intend to expand this model to our other markets beginning in the fourth quarter of this year.” (emphasis mine)

McClatchy floated the paywall idea in May, but there was no indication The Star would be included. Initial markets were Modesto, Sacramento, Fort Worth, Biloxi and Columbus, Ga.

The Star’s story makes no mention of a paywall. (Update, it now does.)

The company also noted:

  • Revenues in the second quarter of 2012 were $299.3 million, down 4.8% from the second quarter of 2011.
  • Advertising revenues were $222.6 million, down 5.7% from 2011, and circulation revenues were $63.6 million, down 2.4%.
  • Total digital advertising revenues grew 4.9% in the second quarter of 2012, with digital-only advertising revenues up 16.8% from the 2011 quarter.
  • Digital advertising represented 22.5% of total advertising revenues compared to 20.2% of total advertising revenues in the second quarter of 2011.

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