The Syracuse New Times has been free for 50 years, but that’s coming to an end next month as they switch to a paid subscription model. The alternative weekly will launch its new model with the April 24th issue and is asking readers to pay a dollar a week.
Publisher Bill Brod says the change is due to declining ad revenue and the increasing cost of printing 30,000 copies and delivering them to 1,100 locations.
“Our folks need to be paid a living wage. They’d like to get competitive benefits, and it takes resources to go out and interview people and go out and interview people and write the stories. Then we’ve got designers here that really do a nice job of laying things out.”
Brod says they will also redesign their product to a magazine-like style and enhanced e-reader capability. Despite the changes, he says the content and the way readers access their news will remain the same. Brod says they spent almost eight months meeting with readers and concluded that this model fits with how people are consuming news and other content.
“The New York Times has probably been way out in front of everybody and set the model. I don’t believe going to a digital only platform works and the reason is, is that people are on digital overload.”
Brod says that print gives readers an enhanced experience and benefits that the internet cannot offer.
“People are beginning to realize that what is reported on the internet is not always the correct news. It’s not fact checked, it’s not well written and it creates a vastly uncivil discourse, which is really a shame.”
Readers can visit my.syracusenewtimes.com to subscribe and get it delivered to their home or business.