By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Pittsburgh’s strawberry fields

david_shribmanThe Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has unveiled a paid Web site intended as a supplement to its free online edition.

According to editor David Shribman (photo), the Boston Globe’s former Washington-bureau chief, “We were always selling chocolate and vanilla [the print and free online versions]. Now we are also selling strawberry.”

Editor & Publisher’s Joe Strupp reports on what you’ll find in Pittsburgh’s strawberry fields:

A peak [sic] at the PG Plus lineup finds a mix of pay-only blogs and discussions, as well as a Facebook-like online community in which users sign on to post comments, interact with other users and Post-Gazette staffers. Online discussions with journalists and others also will be held.

Members will also receive discounts and gain access to various entertainment and sports events. The cost: $3.99 a month, or $36 a year.

Will it work? Who knows? I do think it’s the right approach, and similar to what Globe editor Marty Baron said might be in the works at when he was interviewed by Emily Rooney in July. Readers have demonstrated that they’ll pay for chocolate but not vanilla. Will they pay for strawberry? We’ll soon find out.

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Unwarranted speculation


Thunder on the left


  1. Desperate to stay alive, beleaguered newspaper executives first tried to “monetize” their “content.”

    Now they’re desperately trying to “monetize” their “journalists.”

  2. Art Kane

    I think I’m a micro-payments candidate, but that may just be a reflection of my particular age-group and economic circumstances.
    If the Globe were to come up with a Globe+, and send me a daily e-mail menu, I’d probably dip in 10-12 times each month (depending on content)at somewhere between 50-cents and 99-cents a shot. But I wouldn’t pay a montly or yearly fee that was a multiple of such payments, even if cheaper for me in the long run. Question is: how typical — or a-typical — am I?

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