Thursday, September 26, 2013

USAT | Kramer: paper 'studying' paywall possibility

USA Today Publisher Larry Kramer said at a panel discussion in New York yesterday that the paper is "exploring" a paywall, according to Keith Kelly of the New York Post. Reached by e-mail, Kramer told Poynter Online: "No plan exists. We’re studying it."

Virtually all of Gannett's U.S. community papers erected paywalls starting in early 2012. They're among about 400 U.S. dailies now charging for online access.

It's unclear whether USAT's study of a paywall is new, or part of what I expect has been a long-standing examination.

In a significant advertising development, Kramer said print advertising was up in this year's first half vs. the same period a year ago -- the first such bump in five years. Kelly didn't say whether the increase is in dollars or lineage, however.

Kramer also said the paper will remove its trademark white boxes from some locations, Kelly reports. It expects sales from such boxes to decline by about one-third after a planned price hike from $1 to $2 next Monday. Kramer's remarks followed a Gannett Blog report about the forecast drop last week.

"Most people are not going to have eight quarters in their pocket,” Kramer told the Advertising Week panel.

With print in decline, USA Today Editor-in-chief David Callaway said he's already moved to a digital-first sensibility with the first story meeting of the day starting at 8:30 in the morning.

“The biggest thing now is the growth of the mobile business,” he said, according to Kelly. “Sixty percent of our digital traffic, as measured by page views, is from mobile platforms — either tablets or smart phones.”


  1. This guy nees to get his ass to the home office once in a while. Or is staying in New York necessary somas not to get familiar with amyone who will soon be shown the door?

  2. It would work if there was anything worth reading in USAT.


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