As expected, The Tribune Company has started rolling out premium services for its newspapers: first up, its biggest property Los Angeles Times has decided to make its LATimes.com entertainment section, CalendarLive, a separate premium service. Beginning August 4, the site will be available either to print subscribers; or pony up $4.95 a month or $39.95 for a year. The main LATimes.com news site will remain free access to all registered users. [Also see company promo on LATimes.com]
CalendarLive executive producer Elaine Zinnegrabe also has some interesting comments about the options they considered before this move…in an e-mail to Online-News list on Poynter, she explained the move as: “We know that the public’s reception of paid sites (other than porn) has been less than enthusiastic. Still, we feel the need to explore this business model; we need to place a value on our content and evaluate the relationships between print and online subscriptions.” (Quote used with permission).
This is not the first online subscription service LAT has launched…they launched a desktop news app last year (see this: LATimes.com Launches Ticker Subscription Service), but it closed down recently because the company running it, InfoGate, was bought out by AOL.
For more on newspapers, read our dedicated section.