In an effort to coax occasional readers into contributing dollars, the New York Times announced today that it will now only be offering ten free articles a month instead of 20. The cheapest annual digital subscription is $120/year (iPad app not included).
I don't have a problem with the New York Times paying its hard-working journalists but I have a feeling that 200,000 of those digital subscriptions will be going to pay outgoing CEO Janet Robinson, who just left with a $24 million severance package. And that's a lot of subscribers to tack on! No wonder they're pulling in the guard gates. Considering that the New York Times had 406,000 digital subscribers at the end of 2011, I suspect they're going to have a tough time pulling in another 200,000, 10-article limit or no. Good luck to them.
Perhaps the New York Times should investigate a business model that doesn't include paying outrageous wages to executives- though I don't think any incoming CEO is going to recommend that.
But I guess this is a deserved pat on the back for a job well done. Bloomberg News reports:
"Robinson’s exit, which costs Times Co. more than the company earned in the past four years, marks an end to a period during which the publisher’s sales and earnings slumped amid intensifying online competition. Times Co. (NYT) stock plunged more than 80 percent during Robinson’s tenure as CEO, which began in December 2004...
Times Co. began offering buyout packages in October to eliminate 20 newsroom positions at its namesake newspaper and is also pushing for a pension freeze for some New York Times employees, a move that rankled the union members in the newsroom, Newspaper Guild of New York President Bill O’Meara has said."