[UPDATED Just got an email from someone stating the pay-wall won’t mean it costs anything to read Inquirer/Daily News stories online and that whomever told me it would was “very wrong.” So, know that going it.]
First things first: I hope whatever it is they’re doing over on 400 N. Broad St. helps protect the newsroom/website staffs (except for one person, that is). And, I’m already hearing that there’s some variation involved with points herein. But, I’ll post what somebody who was at the meeting yesterday sent and let time sift the rest of it out.
Good luck everybody (minus -1) over there. Sounds like an intriguing shift.
1. The Inquirer will raise it’s price to $1.
Greg Osburg, the CEO of the Inky, DN and Philly.com announced in a company wide meeting yesterday the price increase. He also asked that this information be kept from public and from other media until they have a chance to get formulate a strategy to announce and he forbid all employees from commenting on price hike and told them if they get calls for comment they are to refer all questions to Mark Block – a VP for the company. Osberg is holding a second company wide meeting today to announce same changes to staff who did not make yesterday’s meeting/
2. The Inquirer and Daily News websites will have a pay wall.
If you are on philly.com homepage and click on Inky or DN you will get a notice that requires registration and payment before proceeding. How much it will cost still under discussion but no free content from Inky or DN once pay wall is erected.
The NYTimes took one year to come up with pay wall structure. Osberg gave philly.com 24 hours to come up with paywall strategy. Osberg assigned vice president for development Yoni Greenbaum 267-615-XXXX, and a product development manager, Sarah Schmalbach 215-284-XXXX, the mission to put together new pay wall strategy but they had only one day to do it. Both Greenbaum and Schmalbach are company people but privately Greenbaum has complained about lack of time, preparation given them by Osberg.
3. philly.com site will be re designed for third time in three years – an expensive New York web design firm has been hired to do the job. The second redesign was done (UPDATE: another “very wrong” point; despite “this”) by philly.com vice president for content, Wendy Warren but Osberg and new managers HATE the current look and feel of the site.
4. City Paper will be a partner with Philly.com and CP content will appear on the homepage of Philly.com and City Paper videos will appear on philly.com video pages. Philly.com will also redesign and manage CP’s website, for a monthly fee. Which means users coming to philly.com can read City Paper content for free but will have to PAY for Inquirer and Daily News content.