McClatchy Co., the last major group publisher to actively adopt digital subscriber initiatives that include paywalls, will test the pay model concept more extensively over the next several months.

Anders Gyllenhaal, McClatchy’s vice president of news, said in a memo that, “after more than a year of experiments and analysis of pay models, McClatchy newspapers will begin a robust test of a pay plan that looks like the right balance for our websites.”

The publisher currently has a paywall in place at only one newspaper, The Modesto (Calif.) Bee, which it launched in July 2011 (see Dateline, July 5, 2011).

Now, Gyllenhaal said, similar initiatives, which will encompass the print edition, Web-only, smartphone and e-edition subscriptions, will take effect at the Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, the Star-Telegram in Fort Worth, Texas, the Sun Herald in Biloxi, Miss., and Ledger-Enquirer in Columbus, Ga.

“The experiences of these papers will determine how and under what schedule to extend to all papers,” he wrote.

Gyllenhaal said McClatchy will use subscription management software from Press + to manage its initiatives. The tests will begin this summer.

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Well, it appears that The Eagle and The Star will not be in the first wave of publications to move to the pay model. Gyllenhaal’s memo indicates the initial rollout is a test that includes McClatchy’s papers in Sacramento, Calif.; Fort Worth, Texas; Biloxi, Miss.; and Columbus, Ga. In fact, a pay model is already in place on McClatchy’s Modesto (Calif.) Bee website, where McClatchy has been trying out the concept for about a year. I am really glad that the Websites like this offer a lot of useful information, comprehensive news, advertising, e-commerce and other services.

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