Boehne's take on paywalls
Rich Boehne, E.W. Scrripps' president and CE, has an interesting take on TV station Web sites and newspaper site pay walls in an interview with TVNewsCheck (italics mine):
There's a reasonable amount of potential and it's the same for the TV stations. TV stations have every bit the opportunity that the newspapers have and some would argue they have a better opportunity. Thus far, they have not taken advantage of that and in many markets they're well behind the newspapers. But they're catching up.
As strange as it sounds, we are focusing more and more on print and online as separate businesses and not the same. There's a place for print. Maybe it's not seven days a week, but there are a lot of people who want this information in a print format and we should serve that market and do an outstanding job. At the same time, we should build a separate online business. So the online piece is growing, but it's still nowhere near the size of the print piece.
I don't think we've seen anything so far that works forlocal newspapers. Part of the issue is scale. You need quality content, but you also need enough scale to sell it to enough people to make a business. That's not easy to do in a small or midsize or even a decent-size newspaper market. The same is true for a TV station.
Newspapers terribly underestimate the ability of TV stations to produce content outside of their core audience. If newspapers attempt to take a lot of their local content and put it behind pay walls, I have no doubt that TV stations will rush in and fill the void. Now, I know we would certainly do that in all of our TV markets. So that just changed the equation a lot and the newspaper industry just for some reason overlooks the ability and determination that a lot of TV stations have.
Read the rest.