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Media Interviews
In their own words


Internet Publishers, Bloggers Say No to New Fees
Will Rupert Murdoch be a pied piper for paid Internet news? I Want Media asked online publishers and bloggers if they plan to follow the old media titan into the world of new Web tolls. Many but not all said no ...


By Patrick Phillips
I Want Media, 8/13/09


Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post: "The Huffington Post has always used an advertiser-supported model, and our ad revenues continue to grow. We have no plans to charge for content."

Nick Denton, Gawker Media: "I can understand why a newspaper publisher might fear the free Web cannibalizing sales of the print product. We don't suffer that internal conflict."

Perez Hilton, PerezHilton: "Why would I charge for access to my site? I couldn't possibly see how the pros would outnumber the cons. So, no. I would not. Free is good!"

Michael Wolff, Newser: "Newser will continue to be free. The more other news outlets try to charge, the better it will be for us. I see the move toward paid walls as a formative development for native online news: Consumers will rush to news sites whose economics -- no 1,000-person newsrooms -- allow them to be free."

Bonnie Fuller, Hollywood Life: "In a word, 'no.' "

Nikki Finke, Deadline Hollywood Daily: "I firmly believe in a primarily ad-supported and based business model. But only when an operation like my DHD is so lean and mean -- pun intended -- and not strait-jacketed by horrendous overhead. I expect to see continued growth in advertising dollars going to original content brands. But that also doesn't mean there won't be some additional opportunities for premium and subscription revenue out there for DHD."

Sharon Waxman, The Wrap: "Yes, we absolutely believe that quality content is something that our readers will pay for. This is a concept we are actively exploring as we build a loyal readership based on providing essential, authoritative business information and analysis in real time. I also believe that is the way forward for many high quality content providers."

Mark Frauenfelder, Boing Boing: "We might consider charging for some kind of premium content, but not for the content we already offer on Boing Boing."

Tina Brown, The Daily Beast: Spokesman: "Tina is unavailable for comment."

David Plotz, Slate: "Unlike most online media, we've already lived this story once. Slate charged for content for a year in the late '90s. It was a demoralizing experience -- we lost the vast majority of our readers, and it took awhile to regain them when we dropped the subscription model. It is a decade later but I don't think the world has changed. In a universe with enormous amounts of excellent free content, it doesn't make sense for most online news enterprises to charge. Slate has no plans to do it. That said, it may make sense to charge for particular kinds of content delivered in exceptional ways. We charged for our 2008 iPhone polling app, for example."





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