The Morning News has announced that it is no longer monogamous and that it is adding a third partner, the Washington Post, to its existing relationship with NBC Channel 5, thereby creating a love triangle (if not an actual threeway). Says the News:
Come May, subscribers of the Dallas Morning News will get a bonus — access to the Washington Post’s digital content under a new partnership. The Post said it will open its digital content to subscribers of six metropolitan newspapers to help increase its digital audience and strengthen its position as a national brand.
The Post charges $99 a year for digital access. The News charges $311 a year for a seven-day print and digital subscription and about $100 for a digital-only subscription. The News might tack on a small fee for the added Post material. “Details of how the content sharing will work are being fine-tuned,” says the News.
Seems like a no-lose proposition for the News. The only observation I can offer at this point is that I cannot believe the News is charging $100 for a digital-only subscription — because you can get the whole dang newspaper for free. The $100 simply gets you a “premium” online experience. If your idea of “premium” is “pointless repackaging of stories, using USA Today’s abandoned color palette” and “hard to navigate” and “not worth $5, much less $100.”
From the Post’s position, I only wonder about the commonality between its six new lovers. In addition to the News, it is now embracing: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Toledo Blade, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Are the other five all indie papers that are free to strike such a deal? Are they all publishing in cities where Zac Crain will never live? I’m not smart enough to figure it out.
In any case, we look forward to watching it all shake out.