Memo From Cablevision’s Smith: Newsday’s Online Strategy Is About Cable, Print Retention, Not Sales


This week’s coverage of Newsday Publisher Terry Jimenez’s acknowledgment that has sold only 35 online-only subscriptions since putting up a high paywall prompted an staff-wide strategy memo from Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) brass. Tad Smith, the former CEO of RBI USA who joined Cablevision as president of local media last year, told the staff: “Despite my reluctance to enter this media scrum, I wanted all of us to understand clearly


Ron Chiavaro

It may not be about sales or growth for that matter, but sales figures that are this low clearly show that the content is far below average. Newsday has shown a steady decline in it’s quality of news coverage as well as in the areas of sports and features since the Tribune Company took over almost 10 years ago. Tad Smith would do Cablevision a huge favor by getting rid of the last of the misfits from Tribune Company that still run Newsday. He should start with the Interim Publisher Terry Jimenez, maybe the worst publisher of any paper in America.


Sounds like a solid strategy and a good model for other publishers to follow.

Scott Bateman

Retention but not sales is a surprising explanation from a business perspective. In other words, just hunker down and don’t focus on growth? Don’t generate new revenue?

The $5 a week fee is the highest rate I have ever seen for a newspaper Web site that charges for online access. It is not hard to imagine that the market is simply saying it won’t pay that much.

It’s also not hard to imagine that Cablevision is rationalizing the exceptionally poor signup rate.

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