US papers accelerate website restrictions


From a standing start only two years ago, the number of newspapers with digital subscriber plans that include restrictions on the amount of information a non-subscriber can view online has mushroomed to more than 180, with dozens more scheduled to join the list by year-end. As of June 1, 186 U.S. newspapers had some sort of paywall in place. The latest to launch: Gannett Co. Inc.’s U.S. Community Publishing properties The (Nashville) Tennessean, Des Moines (Iowa) Register and Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., which rolled out their digital subscriber plans last Friday. That brings to 28 the number of USCP dailies with paywalls. Gannett execs earlier this year said they plan to outfit all 80 of the group’s papers with digital subscription strategies by the end of the year. Lee Enterprises, which said it will roll out paywalls across its 53 daily papers, is also slowly but surely expanding its initiative, recently putting plans in place at the Elko (Nev.) Daily Free Press and the Post-Star in Glen Falls, N.Y. Those papers join six other Lee papers in Montana and Wyoming that rolled out paywalls last year. McClatchy is also stepping up its digital subscriber strategies, last month saying it would over the next several months test initiatives at four dailies, including its flagship Sacramento (Calif.) Bee. Tribune Co., meantime, reportedly is eyeing subscriber strategies at the Chicago Tribune, perhaps by selling subscriptions to certain sections or features of the paper. According to, a dozen major U.S. publishers have paywalls in place in at least one of is properties.