Dallas Morning News May Raise Third Paywall in 2016

Dallas Morning News publisher Jim Moroney still believes a paywall can be part of an overall diversification of the paper’s revenue base.

Warning: some insider-y media business baseball ahead. In an interview with NetNewsCheck, Dallas Morning News publisher Jim Moroney says the paper will, for the third time, attempt to raise revenues by offering some of its content only to paid online subscribers. Moroney admits that the first two attempts at introducing a paywall at the DMN weren’t executed very well, and he doesn’t see paywall strategies as a savior for the ever-struggling newspaper industry. But he still believes a paywall can be part of an overall diversification of the paper’s revenue base:

We tried twice to do paid subscribers online and we haven’t been successful. That’s our fault in execution, not because it’s not a good source of revenue. We will probably take a third swing at it sometime next year. But I don’t know that the major metros are getting to a place with digital-only subscribers that that’s going to be the salvation, either. . . .

We’re now in the 10th year of our industry having cumulative lower print/advertising revenues. That to me is a better predictor than wishful thinking that it’s going to stop next year. The thing that we’re not doing is aggressively going after other sources of revenue beyond digital advertising and subscribers to try to then have enough year-over-year revenue to offset the print decline without having to cut into our franchises to maintain profitability.

We’re fortunate not have any debt and to have more than $80 million on our balance sheet. But our primary focus of the use of that cash is to acquire other means of providing marketing solutions for our customers.

Read the whole thing here.

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