Sometime this summer, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette will make it a little harder for readers to get local news at Telegram.com — and, the New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT) paper hopes, a little easier for it to make some money online. The paper told readers Sunday that it plans to set up a metered model that will allow full access for its print subscribers but will cut off access to articles by the T&G staff after a certain number, requiring either a monthly subscription or a day pass to continue. No decisions yet on the number before the meter kicks in or the price. It’s also not clear if registration will be required to read even without paying. .
Telegram.com is no stranger to paywalls but the current plan is a far cry from the full-pay model in place from mid-2002 through mid-2006. The T&G was not alone in breaking down the paywall back then in favor of higher web traffic and more lucrative online advertising; corporate sibling New York Times shut down its premium TimesSelect for that reason.
Now both papers are among those seeking an online revenue model more similar to the dual-stream circ & ad model that worked for print. NYTimes.com plans to go metered early next year, opting for a long runway to build out complicated systems. T&G Publisher Bruce Gaultney told his paper that the decision in Worcester was made without corporate pressure to follow Times. So far the Boston Globe, the larger paper in NYTCo’s New England Media Group, is steering clear.