To Put Up Subscription Paywall In 2018

The Wall Street Journal reports:

CNN president Jeff Zucker, a veteran TV executive who once warned that the TV business couldn’t afford to trade “analog dollars for digital pennies,” is now embracing online publishing as central to CNN’s model.

After investing in digital verticals focused on business and politics and acquiring an online-video startup, CNN is gearing up for another big step: It plans to launch tiered subscription offerings for its digital news business as early as the second quarter of next year.

A proposed premium offering will give subscribers access to special content on topic-specific verticals such as CNN Money and CNN Politics, built around network personalities. A second option will provide additional, though less specialized, content across all of CNN’s sites. Pricing hasn’t been finalized.

  • clay

    I wish Fox News would.

    • AmeriCanadian

      The fact that they haven’t speaks volumes. Left-leaning news sites should take note and tear down their pay walls. There’s nothing wrong with ad-supported sites as long as they don’t interfere with content.

      • Nobodyreally

        Problem is, ad-supported sites are a failing model. Sometimes not just pennies on the dollar but tenths of pennies on the dollar compared to broadcast or even print. The old days which promised major digital ad revenue are now hit with the realities that programmatic has a ceiling. And viewable ads are just around the corner, putting more pressure on content providers for less money. Truth is, no major news outlet has a profitable online operation with an advertising model.

        • Debra

          Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
          On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
          ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleHomeMarketCashJobsOpportunity/simple/work ★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫:::::!da195luuuuu

    • Nowhereman

      Most of their followers wouldn’t be able to afford it.

      • clay


  • Oscarlating Wildely
  • Treant

    Treant to stop using in 2018.

    • Joe in PA

      I RARELY use it. Almost never. I think I see more of it from JMG. 🙂

      • Librarykid

        Last week I saw a story about tunnels in North Korea’s nuclear test facility collapsing and killing 200 on another country’s media. The only US cable news website to carry the story was Faux so CNN is not the greatest news source and not worth time or money to read, especially with all of the right wing opinion pieces.

  • bkmn

    I stopped using CNN in 2008 when they showed their bias against Obama and they have done nothing to make me want to start again.

    • Snarkaholic

      I stopped when they stopped including comments sections on their online articles.

    • Rmarciano

      CNN bias against Obama? Haha haha haha

  • JWC

    Pay foe CNN what an incentive to delete

  • AtticusP

    So long, CNN. I won’t miss you a bit.

  • Publius

    It’s business. Without public subsidies to news outlets, this is the reality: they need to find creative ways to keep the lights on and pay people to produce stories people will like.

    My preferred news is Le Monde. While the first 10 or 15 articles are free to read, I subscribe anyway on principle. It’s on readers to keep journalism alive.

  • The_Wretched

    Early CNN was central to coverage of the Iraq War and the politics of the time. However, they lost their way and elevated Wolf Blitzer, a not very bright coward. As for Zucker, he’s been continously pushing them to the right and was directly responsible for CNN hiring 5 ( ! ) talking heads that were also getting dollars from the Trump world. I wont be paying and doubt many other will either.

    • TrueWords

      CNN should cut ties from Trump’s people and REALLY report…instead of chasing the dollars…

    • Cattleya1

      I quit reading their content when they hired the trumpanzies. I sent them a nastygram the day after the election and intend never to look at anything they produce ever again. I pay for NYT, WaPo, and LA Times.

  • TrueWords

    The as-yet-unpriced plans are part of effort to reach $1 billion in digital revenue by 2022

    This is ALL about ad revenue…nothing more…

  • Ninja0980

    Ahh, you mean I won’t have to see both sides CNN anymore?

  • Sam_Handwich

    i don’t really care.



    • Treant

      If Virginia really wants to be that stupid, that’s their business, I suppose.

      Personally, I gave up on the Republic about a year ago.

      • (((GC)))

        The more state legislatures become or remain Republican controlled, the closer Republicans are to being able to call a constitutional convention and (with 3/4 of the states) unilaterally rewrite the Constitution. Scary stuff, but not unavoidable.

    • Oscarlating Wildely

      Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory yet again.

    • The_Wretched

      Can their vote be audited?

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      But remember kids, voting 3rd party has zero effect on an election. /s

      • The_Wretched

        the idiot / refusnik 3% aren’t owned and the rightful votes of democrats. Focusing on them still over looks all the rest of the bs that means republicans win ties with 5-15% surplus seats. It’s wasteful and idiotic to obsess about the 3rd party fringe.

    • another_steve

      Virginia has long been on the theofascists’ wishlist. Had Ken Cuccinelli prevailed last time around, it would have been “mission accomplished.”

    • KT

      Honestly, Virginia gets what it deserves. The Dems did a really crappy campaign job there, Northam is just not that great a candidate, the national party is currently shooting itself in the foot and squandering all momentum and if Dem voters can’t be bother to go out and vote I say you reap what you sow Virginny.

      • Charles Nelson

        Just a few days before the election and the DEM Party is in a circular firing squad…candidate saying that he would sign an anti-sanctuary city statute. Truly…an honest loser.

    • Ragnar Lothbrok
      • Joe in PA


        • Ragnar Lothbrok

          Right ? But, what do you think of the VA race ?

          • Joe in PA

            Well, truth-be-told…months again I said Gillespie would win on name recognition alone. 🙁 I was shot down (in a good way) by folks here…so now I’m not sure what to think. VA elected Democratic governors many times over. It has two Democratic senators. I guess I’m hopeful. But very cautious. I’m going to post Chris Hayes’ tweet on FB for my Virginia friends.

    • TominDC
      • Todd20036

        If there’s one thing 2016 taught me is that polls aren’t NEARLY as important as the final vote count

        • (((GC)))

          Which means getting enough voters to turn up to overcome biases such as voter ID voter suppression laws and inherently unreliable electronic voting machines.

          Democracy for America and Indivisible are letting you VOLUNTEER FROM HOME — whatever US state you live in — to call voters and GET OUT THE VOTE!

          “Join DFA and Indivisible to call voters and help win critical state legislative elections on November 7. From now until Election Day, we’re focusing on mobilizing sporadic voters and expanding turnout in Virginia, 2017’s election battleground state.​ When turnout is high, progressive candidates win — so join us and together we can transform the electorate, elect progressive champions like Justin Fairfax for Lieutenant Governor, and change legislative power up and down the ballot on November 7.

          We’ll give you everything you need to get started talking to voters — the latest polling and breaking news, plus all of the information and tools you’ll need to make these urgent calls. All you need is your phone and a computer (or tablet / iPad / Kindle tablet) with internet access.

          (I’ve volunteered with campaigns like this before. You get information and scripts through your web browser; you give them your phone number, and the system calls you and you stay on the line as it connects you to different voters. It screens out busy signals and unanswered calls, so you might be talking to people one after another, unless you choose to take a break.

          A smartphone by itself will probably not work: you need the voice and internet connections simultaneously, and the phone screen is likely too small.)

    • Strkr

      I first read that 3rd one as “Hydra” not “Hyra” and had to do a double take….damn you Marvel!

  • TrueWords

    I doubt cable cord cutters will invest their savings in paying for CNN even if it was just a buck a month!

    Please people STOP paying for cable…this people are getting richer and well we common folks are scraping to get by…

    • Cuberly Deux

      Lived w/o cable for a LONG time, out of curiosity and, well, there are a few shows I really would like to watch, I stated the streaming service Playstation Vue. It’s the bare-bones plan for streaming live TV & local stations. So far I like it.

  • TrueWords
    • teeveedub

      How about “all of the above”?

  • another_steve

    CNN sucks cocks in hell.

    Anderson, stop selling yourself to them.

    • BobSF_94117

      If anyone is sucking cock in the After Life, it’s in Heaven. Just think about it.

      • another_steve

        I try to attain to heaven in the current life.

        I own most of BelAmi’s videos.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Not a huge CNN watcher anyway. I get my news from more reliable sources…on another note, none of those sources are American…can you figure out why that might be?

  • Ninja0980
    Have a really, really bad feeling that the Republican will win next Tuesday.

    • Karl Dubhe

      Are they using paper ballots?

      • (((GC)))

        Anything without a paper trail can be hacked. (And paper receipts cause problems of their own, allowing vote buying and coercion.)

        Paper ballots should be the standard. They can be scanned quickly by machine, spot checked in random precincts to gauge the confidence of the count, and recounted by hand if necessary.

        (But then, I’m probably preaching to a preacher. 🙂

        That said, hackers would likely flip only enough votes to change a close vote, not enough to arouse suspicion. Turnout matters. See above/below about volunteering from home to help get out the vote:

        • Karl Dubhe

          Canadian, but close enough to a choir. 🙂

          We still use the little ballots that we mark with an ‘X’ to show who we vote for.

          Without doubt, turnout matters. I think the Aussies have it right, they make you vote or you pay a fine.

    • Lazycrockett

      I think the racist turn that Gillipse took will bring out the white trash.

    • TominDC

      That’s… confusing.

      The tweet says 50-44, and the link points to 47-47.

    • Salton

      So wish you’re wrong!

  • Dagoril

    “…access to special content on topic-specific verticals…”

    Can somebody translate that into English?

    • BearEyes

      targeted marketing.

    • The_Wretched

      So they can sell ad profile fractions like “religious bigot” and “upper class white nationalists” like facebook and google do.

    • Treant

      Anything interesting will be behind the paywall.

  • Cuberly Deux

    A paywall to watch dumb-fuck surrogates?

  • BearEyes

    who the hell wants to patronise “network personalities”? I couldn’t care less about that.
    News, on the other hand, should be available. And it should be subscription OR ads – not both.

  • Lazycrockett

    If for some reason this streamlines CNN into a more news driven channel and not endless panel discussion after panel discussion good. If not well I don’t watch CNN at all anymore.

    • another_steve

      CNN panders to whatever keeps ’em watching through the next Cialis commercial.

      It’s their modus operandi.

      • BobSF_94117

        It’s odd they’ve never considered showing the results of all that Cialis. Would hold some people’s attention.

        • another_steve

          All sexually-functional males – hetero and homo – understand Cialis and its kin.

          Second to institutional religion, the “erectile dysfunction” industry is the second-most profitable industry in the history of the human race.

          • (((GC)))

            Vaguely related: I remember reading someone pointing out that based on the spam he gets (lots of hot, barely legal young women want to hook up with guys just like him; and also lots of penis-enlargement offers), there must be lots of hotties who love guys with small dicks.

      • djcoastermark

        That is pretty much what TV in the US has evolved into. Something to get you through to the next set of commercials.

        • (((GC)))

          TV has always been an enticing container to get us to watch commercials. As Friday pointed out ( ) public service and the Fairness Doctrine were demanded of stations, once upon a time, in exchange for a license to use a piece of the public’s limited broadcast spectrum.

          Most public TV and public radio stations rely on corporate underwriting, with credits (ads), as well. It does make those stations more attractive that the ads are limited to the beginning and end of programs, and can’t directly tell us, “buy our stuff!”

    • TCinBerkeley

      It is why I can’t watch Anderson. He always has a panel!

  • HZ81

    No great loss. Hearing CNN on TuneIn every morn is torture enough. I could stand to see them much less.

    Unless they bring TJ Holmes back. Yowza.

  • leastyebejudged

    lol, nobody’s gonna pay for CNN, lolol

  • Kevin Perez

    Dear CNN, welcome to irrelevance.

  • Judas Peckerwood

    You’d have pay ME to consume CNN’s weak product.

  • Michael White

    CNN has a web site? Who knew?

  • Tomcat

    I refuse to pay to find out if they found that lost plane.

    • Joe in PA

      but but…the graphics were amazing!

      Said no one ever. 🙂

    • BobSF_94117

      I wonder if they’ll figure out a way to monetize shutting the fuck up about a particular story. They could make a fortune!

      • Tomcat

        That is where Fox makes the most money.

    • Snarkaholic

      They won’t even tell you…it will be hinted at in the “subscribe to us” ads, but the actual article will be only continued speculation:
      ‘We found a rusty “Hannah Montana” Fan Club pin at the bottom of the Dead Sea…could it have belonged to Amelia Earhart??? Subscribe now to find out!!!’

      • Nowhereman

        It reminds me of the side boobs column over at Huff n Puff. It’s a vague memory though–I haven’t been there since they went to Facebook for their comment forum.

  • Joe in PA

    I wonder if the ‘behind-the-paywall’ will have ads? Bwahahaha…OF COURSE IT WILL.

    Back when I was but a wee child (many years ago I might add), I remember commenting to someone that had cable TV (way way before satellite TV): oh that must be nice not to have commercials. Truly, I thought that if you pay for TV you don’t have commercials.

    bwahahahahaha. As if.

    • ChrisMorley

      In Britain we pay the BBC an annual licence fee (£147, US$190) and have no commercials on BBC TV or radio.

      • Joe in PA

        How civilized. 🙂 AND you get good content. Wow.

      • Nowhereman

        Here I pay $80 per month for what they consider basic cable, about 120 channels of which I watch maybe 20. And I get at least a solid 10 minutes of commercials per hour, usually the same ones over and over. The drug commercials are the worst. I think that the US is the only country that allows direct to consumer ads for prescription drugs. I started muting all commercials about 10 years ago, and it did wonders for my nerves.

    • Uncle Mark

      It used to be that way in the early days of pay-TV with the decoder boxes (OnTV & Spectrum). Later, they suggested that we might get better quality shows if they were permitted a “few” commercials, instead of raising fees

    • Todd Allis

      I remember when Hulu first offered paid accounts. I signed up thinking that meant no ads… but there were ads! So I canceled right away. I understand they now have an ad-free version, but I rarely watch any of their content anyway.

      • Joe in PA

        Yeah, I seem to remember seeing the two-tiered system with Hulu. I think they started producing original content as well. Dunno where this will all end.

      • Nowhereman

        The only online entertainment that I subscribe to is Pandora. It’s reasonable and with the subscription there are no ads.

  • BobSF_94117

    When future generations look back and try to figure out WTF was responsible for what happened to America in the early years of the digital revolution, the chaos the internet brought to journalism will loom large.

    • Friday

      Before that, what Reagan did to directly destroy the journalism we *had* was eroding the foundations all along. We warned everyone at the time. It used to be that the Fairness Doctrine and actual journalism were the rent the corporations paid on the *public* airwaves. ‘Deregulating’ that immediately corrupted newsrooms into ‘for-profit news.’ It just took a while for it to get this ridiculous. When the earthquake/tsunami/Fukushima disaster hit Japan, only one network even had a token Tokyo desk. The big companies were using smartphone footage until they could even get anyone on a *plane.*

      • (((GC)))

        ☝↑☝↑☝ THIS ☝↑☝↑☝

  • TheManicMechanic

    No loss for me, that’s for sure.

    A subscription will still be festooned with ads I’d still have to block.

  • Chris Lion

    How can I watch CNN less? Paywall. Seriously, I don’t watch them anymore. It’s embarrassing–not as embarrassing as FOX, but some really piss-poor reporting. Zucker is a hack.

  • Tomcat

    I already pay for the cable news so I could care less if they charge for internet coverage also. I never was one for expecting everything in life to be given to me free. That’s for millenials.

  • Michael R
  • geoffalnutt

    I haven’t watched CNN since the Corvair. Please.

  • Tom Mears

    If I’m going to pay for online news content, I’ll stick with and is frankly infotainment not news.

  • northern_neighbour

    This Canuck likes JMG for the daily important things. And often follow cited links, Joe’s, and also those offered by many of you guys. Listen to BillBear61’s music clips as well. Such a civilised man!

    Towleroad I might check a couple of times a week … plus a little Eye Candy over there, but not much give and take discussion/sarcasm over there, as there is always here.

    YouTube is phenomenal.

    I like the Guardian, and use the daily front page of NYT, WaPo, but don’t read any articles other than a few free ones at beginning of month.

    Sometimes look at Huffpost, rarely go to CNN, (do like Jake Tapper) and use Google for specific stuff I follow, for e.g. currently I check into equal marriage Australia about once a week.

    I find there is far too much really right wing crap at RealClear and Politico, and the polls are also not worth wasting any angst over. There are so many crap polls as we know now IN SPADES since November 2016. Following them too closely is kinda neurotic. So I spend more time signing petitions at Daily Kos which I also check into usually at least once daily … get their emails all the time. I would consider supporting them and Think Progress, but I cannot send donations to US campaigns for office, as that would be breaking your laws.

    In Canada we have free CBC radio and television, can normally get it with a roof antenna and not need cable, or by internet. CBC has ads on the TV only, not on the radio and I patriotically can say with assurance that CBC is a very superior news service to the ones in the U.S. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) is an on-line resource. But I don’t pay. We can see a lot of Rachel Maddow here — and so much stuff is on You tube.

    Netflix is worth consideration. You need it up here to get stuff like Trevor Noah, as the Daily Show doesn’t broadcast in Canada nor does SNL.

    All in all JMG does an outstanding job for most of what I need to know and I do click on some ads as I know that sends some pennies his direction.

    For our straight allies, they could consider subscribing to on line Guardian and WaPo if they like print media news. For some reason I think they are a bit better than NYTimes even though the Grey Lady is still a fairly fabulous old broad.

  • The Milkman

    Good way to redirect their audience elsewhere.

    • thatotherjean

      That would be where I’ll be going if CNN really puts up a pay wall. They’re not that good at what they do. If I have to spend money, I’ll spend it on The Washington Post.

      • (((GC)))

        Or on the Guardian, which offers good reporting without a paywall. That’s the way to inspire respect and contributions.

  • Pip

    Their site has been garbage for a while now. You’re inundated with ads, the auto play videos barely have anything to do with the actual articles (though this seems to be the trend for all news sites now), and a page layout that’s laughable.

    • Nowhereman

      You just reminded me of one of the many things I don’t like about them. That damn auto play video and the way it follows you everywhere.

  • Friday

    The trouble with trying to ‘monetize’ garbage is that people who’d rather have the news may as well pay real newspapers for it.

  • Tempus Fuggit

    I’m trying to care, but nothing happens. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  • JCF

    Now that is a simian face!

    Apparently, CNN is trying to commit suicide. }-/

  • fiizok

    Somewhat off topic but fun fact: at CNN’s offices in Hollywood (at Sunset and Cahuenga), just outside the front entrance to the building there are a couple of large screen TVs with loudspeakers that run CNN around the clock. It’s a fairly popular gathering spot for the homeless in the area. (Even more off topic: the parking structure for this building is where the Hollywood Canteen used to stand.)

  • Frostbite

    shrug. i wouldn’t watch cnn if they paid me to.

  • Might have to switch to free fake news and learn all the wrong things. They’re going to impede the delivery of vital information to the public. Guess they’re getting too good for their own britches.

  • BeaverTales

    I already subscribe to 5 online newspapers in two countries, and it will probably be ten news sources within the next 12 months. CNN will probably be one of them. I trust them.

  • SDG

    One more reason NOT to watch/read them. The Guardian, Al Jazeera, and others. Far more reliable…

    CNN is becoming more and more like FOX to keep the ratings.

  • fahvel

    nail on the head time – one never moaned about buying the morning paper and reading on the subway bus plane each day – it was info/news that you could hold in solid reassuring form – so, now that you’re all modern, pay for the same shit on line. Just make sure that what you are reading isn’t reading you back.

    • LeeCMH

      Times change, business models evolve.

      Regarding news, there are just too many free choices mere clicks away.


  • DevineBovine

    Anyone who pays for “news” is a moron.

  • LeeCMH

    I don’t care! I quit watching CNN and reading years ago.

    I have an add blocker extension on my browser.

    Anytime I am blocked because of the ad blocker or a pay wall, I simply click the X on that tab and search for the news elsewhere.

    So if CNN throws up a pay wall, I do not have to react in anyway.

  • Nowhereman

    Sites that do that just guarantee that people like me won’t be reading them. I’m retired and on a tight budget. I’m already strapped paying for internet access. I never read or watch CNN anyway though.