Philadelphia papers start charging for online version

Readers of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News will have to pay more to read the physical paper, and shell out a few bucks to read a new digital version. Readers will still be able to dig through the content on Philly.com and find stories for free.  But people who want to check out the papers online in a newspaper-style layout will have to pay a $3 per paper, per week.  The parent company is discontinuing the free paper-specific websites many online readers have bookmarked.In addition to the price hikes, the Inquirer readers will see more local stories in the A section.  Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is joining the Daily News as a columnist.Greg Osberg, the Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of Philadelphia Media Network, said the changes are meant to bump up readership,”We have a very low duplication between the two papers right now in terms of readership,” said Osberg.  “Our plan is to distinguish the two products and have the same reader, or subscriber, buy both.  If we can accomplish that, and I think we will, we will see a nice lift on our circulation.”Osberg says the company is being managed in a more collaborative way than has ever been done before.New Daily News editor, Larry Platt, said the paper will continue to be committed to sports and investigative reporting – but he wants to increase its focus on people, power, and gossip.  

 

“In terms of gossip, we want to provide water cooler fodder for our readers at the office,” said Platt.  “Something for them to talk about everyday.”

 

Philadelphia Media Network officials said the changes will make the newspapers and website site more competitive in the new media landscape.

The company has been buffeted by years of financial troubles, culminating in a bankruptcy proceeding that left the operation in the hands of the current owners.

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