Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Return to free online access for NYTimes columnists

Starting tomorrow, the New York Times will abandon TimesSelect, its two year old experiment to charge for online access to its leading columnists. 

Comment.  When I wrote about TimesSelect two years ago, two months after it launched, it was already profitable and I suspect that it was profitable right up to the decision to shut it down.  However, the Times believes that it will gain more in advertising revenue than it will lose in access fees.  It will also gain in impact.  From my blog post two years ago:

Mickey Kaus calculates that the increase in NYT revenue is about $6.1 million and wonders whether it was worth it. He asks a good question:  if a rich conservative offered the paper $6.1 million to reduce the impact of its liberal columnists, would it have taken the offer?