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9 SoCal newspapers to begin charging for online access

The New York Times was one of the first major newspapers to erect a paywall in 2011.
The New York Times was one of the first major newspapers to erect a paywall in 2011.
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Frequent online readers of the Los Angeles Daily News and the Long Beach Press-Telegram, as well as seven other local newspaper websites will soon have to start paying for access this month.

Digital First Media, which owns the company that runs the affected newspapers, said it would limit the amount of free articles on all of its 75 daily newspapers. Already, 23 of its newspapers have shifted to an all access digital subscription. After customers read a certain amount of free articles each month, the website will ask you to pay if you want to read more.

The Daily News reports the Los Angeles News Group, which includes the Los Angeles Daily News, Torrance Daily Breeze, Long Beach Press-Telegram, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, Whittier Daily News, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, San Bernardino Sun and Redlands Daily Facts, will transition to paid digital subscriptions on Wednesday.

John Paton, CEO Of Digital First Media, said in a blog post that the transformational journey from print to digital is a long one. 

“It’s a journey made all the more difficult when you carry the extra tonnage of newspaper companies whose cost structures were more than a century in the making and now need to be radically rebuilt – by yesterday,” Paton said.

Newspapers across the country have struggled to increase sales at a time when print ad revenues have dropped significantly.

Media analyst Ken Doctor said digital subscriptions have boosted newspaper circulation revenues. Already 41 percent of U.S. daily newspapers have pay walls or digital pay systems in place, he said. That’s compared to 2011, when the New York Times was one of the first newspapers to launch a pay wall.