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Chronicle erects pay wall, restricts in-depth stories and columns to subscribers

The Chronicle announced today (March 24) that it is putting much of its content behind a pay wall including Matier & Ross, Willie Brown, Leah Garchik, Kathleen Pender and Chuck Nevius.

SFGate will remain a free website focusing on breaking news and Internet-only features such as the Daily Dish and event listings. Archival search capabilities will continue on the Gate for free. But access to the “premium site” with the domain SFChronicle.com will be for subscribers only.

“SFChronicle.com is one more step in this Chronicle’s journey through the digital age. It gives subscribers another option for getting the news and information they value from the Chronicle in a digital format organized like a newspaper and easy to use,” Chronicle president Mark Adkins said in an announcement posted today.

Current Chron print subscribers can access the premium site by providing their email address. A number of options are offered for new subscribers at varying price points.


One option allows for “ultimate access” to SFChronicle.com for $12 a month ($144 a year) and another for the same price offers “ultimate access” plus delivery of the Sunday print edition.

An offer that lasts only eight weeks offers seven-days of home delivery plus access to SFChronicle.com for $5 per week.
Subscribers to “ultimate access” get the online SFChronicle.com via a traditional website, tablet, mobile and e-edition.

The LA Times, NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News and Gannett’s 80 papers are putting their content behind pay walls.

LA Times readers can read 15 stories in a 30-day period for free. To read more than 15 stories from the same IP address, the LA Times charges $1.99 a week if the subscriber also takes the Sunday paper. Digital only costs $3.99 a week ($207 a year).

The Washington Post announced March 18 that it will start charging frequent users of its website, those who view 20 articles or more a month, a fee starting this summer. However, the Post hasn’t decided how much it will charge.

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