Saturday, November 14, 2009

TimesDaily to Charge for Online Content?

The Tennessee Valley Printing Company is owned by the Shelton family; currently the fourth generation of Sheltons manage this growing business. Yes, in this economic recession, the Tennessee Valley Printing Company is still growing, but by acquisition, rather than increased sales and revenue. Obviously, this decades old company knows it needs the latter to survive another generation.

The Decatur Daily, the company's oldest newspaper, charges for its online content. In other words, one must subscribe to the newspaper in order to read it online. The Moulton Advertiser, purchased by the Tennessee Valley Printing Company in 2007, still maintains free access to its entire online site. When the company purchased the TimesDaily from the New York Times earlier this year, it made few changes in online services; however, sources say this may soon change.

According to the Wall Street Journal, newspapers that offer their articles online lose subscribers, while those papers offering only "teasers" have a robust and growing subscribership. Declining sales of newspapers may have coined the word "newosaur," but not all newspapers are falling victim to the lure of free news on the Internet. Obviously, the Tennessee Valley Printing Company doesn't want the TimesDaily to become a newosaur, and we can't blame them.

When (and if) this new policy goes into effect, what of the TimesDaily Forums? The Decatur Daily discontinued their forums without notice some time ago; TimesDaily editor Scott Morris has publicly stated he doesn't like the anonymity of such websites. In other words, forum junkies should be prepared to move on to other forum venues. We understand some forums offer not only serious intellectual discussion, but cordial camaraderie--something the TimesDaily Forum lost eighteen months ago.

What's up with this: Many cities ban unelected politicians (read: overbearing candidates) from participation in Veterans Day parades. If that's the policy of the town of Tuscumbia, organizers forgot to tell a certain candidate for District Judge and his family.