Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hearst to Begin Charging for Digital News

Hearst Corp. said its newspapers plan to hold back at least some content from their free Web sites, launching the publisher onto the vanguard of print media companies to begin charging for their digital news and information.

A top executive at Hearst, which publishes 16 newspapers including the Houston Chronicle and Seattle Post-Intelligencer, said the company is mulling how much of its online offerings to keep free, while reserving some content exclusively for people who pay.

“Exactly how much paid content to hold back from our free sites will be a judgment call made daily by our management, whose mission should be to run the best free Web sites in our markets without compromising our ability to get a fair price from consumers for the expensive, unique reporting and writing that we produce each day,” Steven Swartz, the president of Hearst newspapers, said in a staff memo.


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