Whatever you think of Baltimore Sun coverage, it’s soon going to cost you money to read it: starting Oct. 10, the news organization will charge users $2.49 per week to access its content online, according to a memo sent to the staff today by publisher Tim Ryan.
“Digital consumers recognize the website’s value. We are confident they will subscribe to maintain access to all of our unique, in-depth local news and information,” Ryan said, in the memo to the Baltimore Sun Media Group, published on the media blog of the Poynter Institute’s Jim Romenesko.
There’s a special introductory rate of 99 cents for the first four weeks but after that it’s going to cost $2.49 per week or $49.99 for 26 weeks, Ryan writes.
The Sun follows the New York Times, Boston Globe and Dallas Morning Herald into the brave new world of paywalls, but it’s the first Tribune newspaper to go there.
As for that cup of paywall-free Baltimore Brew you’re reading right now? Priceless.
There were a few positive reactions in the Twittersphere (“this is the only way news orgs can survive”) but mostly, it’s been a Bronx cheer. Here’s a few we’ve seen so far:
* “I’m too cheap to pay for the New York Times. Do you honestly think I’m going to pay for the Sun?”
* “Oh for heaven’s sake. Really?”
* “What the heck were they thinking. I think they are throwing The Sun under the bus to test a TRB-wide idea. So not gonna work.”
* “We can read the Washington post for free and you want us to pay for the sun? Please.”
And our favorite, by Josh Fruhlinger:
“Guess I’ll be paying to get past the Baltimore Sun’s upcoming paywall … those racist reader comments aren’t going to horrify themselves.”