Hartford Courant launches paywall experiment

20 Feb

The Hartford Courant has joined other Tribune Co. dailies in launching some version of a paid-access website.courant

Print edition subscribers received a postcard on Tuesday unveiling CourantPlus.Com, with an offer of free access through March 17 and the offer of a $10 Starbucks gift card to the first 500 people who then fill out a survey evaluating the site when the trial is up.

The Courant’s promo for the new site promises:

  • “Exclusive, in-depth news stories, columns and features not found elsewhere online;
  • “Interactive graphics, videos and photo galleries for an in-depth experience very day;
  • “Clutter-free page design with limited advertising
  • “More political and business coverage
  • “Insider UConn Husky sports coverage
  • and “Premium content from trusted partners such as Forbes, Bloomberg, Washington Post and many others.”

Presuming after several years of buyouts and layoffs that the newspaper won’t be bulking up its reporting staff to add new content for the premium site, it appears that some coverage will be moved off the free-access Courant.Com and placed behind the paywall.

The move leaves newspapers operated by Hearst (Connecticut Post, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Danbury News Times) and Journal Register Co. (New Haven Register, Middletown Press and The Register Citizen of Torrington) and the Norwalk Hour as the only dailies in Connecticut not to have moved to some kind of paywall model.

The Journal-Inquirer of Manchester, Republican-American of Waterbury and Willimantic Chronicle have had paywalls for a number of years, while the New London Day, Meriden Record-Journal and Norwich Bulletin all moved to a paywall model within the past two years.

UPDATE: Hartford Courant Publisher Rich Graziano tells Poynter that “the Hartford Courant has not implemented a paywall.” He explained that CourantPlus.Com is in a “market research” stage and said: “We have made no determination about launching CourantPlus, its accessibility or pricing requirements.”


14 Responses to “Hartford Courant launches paywall experiment”

  1. Charlie Lynch February 20, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    Excellent! Another newspaper I don’t have to look at anymore.

    • Joe February 20, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

      Has it never occurred to you that you don’t actually have to look at newspapers’ free sites either?

  2. john schmidt February 20, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    I’ll look at the site less than I did before which wasn’t much. Hopefully it;ll be more difficult to spread its liberal agenda to the masses.

    • John H Reed February 20, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

      count me in,,less liberal edited crap and tell the real sad truth about the liar in chief!!

  3. John H Reed February 20, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    please make it possible for a non geek to do the survey a trifle easier!!

  4. Paul Bass February 20, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

    I can’t tell whether to root for paywalls to work — so that newspapers can get the money they need to support themselves; or to root for them to fail so that the Internet delivers on its promise of democratizing information. I think a key question, identified here by Matt, is whether the establishment of a paywall coincides with an investment in more reporting and other forms of content, or merely restricts what’s out there.

    • john schmidt February 20, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

      well the press is not doing their job now. Investigative reporting on Democrat candidates has disappeared due to the newspaper slant. So if it costs money to read the leftist papers, fine. It’ll make it harder to spread their disinformation. or lack of coverage,.

  5. Jeremy Donner February 21, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    I do enjoy hearing people comment on how much they won’t miss a website that they’ve clearly visited often. “Methinks thous doest protest too much!” They’ll be first in line to subscribe to the new site so they can continue their feverish commenting.

    • john schmidt February 21, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

      not with me.

  6. Joseph Bissonnette February 24, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    I like my morning paper on my table if you go online count me out

  7. Bob Donohue March 9, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    I have more important things to spend money on then pay for news.

  8. connecticut limousine April 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    I know it’s a trend to go digital yet there are a large number of readers that still prefer print. I run a limo company in hartford and we have to provide our customers with newspapers DAILY! – and NO, i’m not going to leave ipads in the backseats with a copy of the courant ready for my clients!


  1. Paywall Comes to the Hartford Courant « The Laurel - February 20, 2013

    […] According to Matt DeRienzo, CT Group Editor of the Journal Register Company (see previous post): […]

  2. Hartford Courant says new site does not have a paywall | One Dollar News - February 20, 2013

    […] Connecticut Newsroom | LA Observed | New Haven Register The Hartford Courant has a new site called CourantPlus. Matt DeRienzo, group editor of Journal Register Company’s Connecticut papers, calls it a paywall. Print subscribers, he reports, received a postcard offering free access to the site through March 17. […]

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