Blog Post

WaPo’s Jones Sticks With ‘Watch & See’ Pay Mantra

A few more tea leaves to add in when comes to the Washington Post and paid content, courtesy of Boisfeuillet Jones, Jr. and Ira Stoll, who wrote up the Washington Post Co. (NYSE: WPO) vice chairman’s weekend talk at a Harvard Crimson lunch. Jones, who was publisher of the Post between tenures by Graham family members and is now the paper’s chairman, expressed concern that setting up paywalls would cause readers to leave for substitutes and pointed to some high-profile failures.

The Post prefers to “watch and see what happens” with other efforts, he said, like the New York Times metered model for NYTimes.com. So far, the Post is sticking with the idea of keeping online free and charging for some mobile access via a paid iPhone app.

As for working with others like Journalism Online or the much-discussed News Corp (NYSE: NWS). consortium, Stoll reports that Jones said some are asking for significant rev share or require giving a competitor some control. Read his post for Jones on WaPoCo finances, the AP, competition with Politico and more.

Side note: Someone has done a stellar SEO job for the Crimson’s archives. I Googled “Harvard Crimson + jones” and the first result linked to his bylines from 1968 on student protests. The second nested result was Norah Jones, third was alum Tommy Lee Jones.