The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald announced Wednesday that free unlimited access to stories online will soon be a thing of the past.
With the new digital subscription package, the papers join several other publications owned by The McClatchy Co., including The Sacramento Bee, The Modesto Bee, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Ledger-Enquirer in Columbus, Ga. and the Sun Herald in Biloxi that previously instituted “metered paywalls.’’
As part of the “Miami Herald Plus +” program, packages will include digital and print subscriptions as well as digital-only options, which include mobile apps. Readers who visit www.miamiherald.com and www.elnuevoherald.com will have free access to a limited number of stories a month. Subscribers who already get the paper at home will be able to read online for free; when their subscription renews, they will be rolled into the print and digital package.
In a press release announcing the company’s third-quarter earnings last month, McClatchy President and CEO Pat Talamantes hinted at the expansion of digital subscriptions, saying the company intended to roll out the program in other markets starting in November.
“We believe the new subscription revenues will begin to make a more significant impact in the fourth quarter,” Talamantes said in the statement. “In 2013, we believe the new Plus program could add more than $20 million depending on a number of factors, including how quickly we complete our company-wide rollout.”
McClatchy reported profits of $5.1 million for the quarter ending Sept. 23, down from $9.4 million during the same time last year. Revenues dropped 4.2 percent to $287.5 million.