Rachel Swan, writing for East Bay Express, says the Chronicle has quietly abandoned the pay wall it set up two years ago when it was struggling to stop losses of $50 million a year. After the wall went up, enterprise stories, restaurant reviews, Willie Brown’s column, art coverage and other exclusive material was kept away from freeloading online eyes for two days. A “print-only” logo was placed above the headlines of such stories, indicating they were only available in print or online to paying subscribers including iPad readers. Swan quotes a couple of analysts who speculate on why the Chron has essentially dropped its paywall, and quotes Managing Editor Stephen Proctor as saying the strategy to embargo certain stories from the free online edition is still alive, though used less often.
Chron's pay wall mostly disappears
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