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About that failed Chronicle paywall—Phil Bronstein weighs in

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The former Chronicle executive editor who’s now a honcho at the Center for Investigative Reporting chimes in on the Chron’s ditching its SFChronicle.com paywall experiment after just four months. He tells Bloomberg West’s Emily Chang that folks who work at the paper tell him the paywall made close to $500,000 during its brief run. After proration, that isn’t much. At $12 a month, it implies an average of maybe 10,000 subscribers.

The math somehow gets lost in the Bloomberg TV interview, which you can view here. If his numbers are right, no wonder new Chronicle president Joanne Bradford and publisher Jeff Johnson (who inherited SFChronicle.com from the previous regime) quickly torched it. Hiding your product from the masses for the benefit of a relative handful of already-loyal readers is no way to grow an audience.

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