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The problem with the Guardian is their subscription rate is too high. $15 a week/$60 a month.

They should study the history of journalism. Pulitzer and Hearts got rich by cutting newstand prices to increase circulation.

Having said that, I strongly agree with Greg that it's a quality product. I hope to heck they achieve viability.

It is too expensive by far, and unless you're a paid lobbyist or otherwise in the politics business you don't subscribe.

So it's not a news product that will ever enjoy "general circulation" and therefore never really sell any large-scale ads.

If they have five people earning an average of $50k/yr they'd need more than 4,000 subscribers, or massive ad revenue. Time will tell.

Greg, I don't think you have 4,000 "subscribers" and you're free.

I hesitated to subscribe to the Guardian, but always read its RSS feed (through which I can read headlines and a teaser to the full article, but not the full article itself). I recently decided to bite the bullet and discovered they have a coupon code for state employees and I bought a 6 month subscription. I am really happy that I did it. To me it is worthwhile to support them in their endeavor b/c what they print is actually of interest to me and often they get the lead on a story.

You make money in the news with advertising. Subscriptions cover only a small percentage of the costs. Newspapers are dying, IMO, because the advertising is being sucked up by the Craiglists and the advertising on the net isn't covering the losses from ad revenue that's not being placed due to the recession. But broadcast news has been giving away its content for free from the beginning and they're not going anywhere. The print media is simply going to have to figure out how to make advertising pay the freight on the internet in order to save their hides.

This guy's a bit of a hardass reporter, works in Baltimore and seems to be selling ads.
http://www.investigativevoice.com/

Greg and readers:

When I told the guy from portfolio.com we "weren't making any money" I didn't mean that quite so literally, as in absolutely no money. The Arizona Guardian, after charging for only two months now, is in fact actually making a profit, has rented an office and even sprung for a charity event recently. We just aren't yet making the salaries we were accustomed to in the mainstream media. But it's only been two months and we are very pleased with the success of the site. So we are hopeful the subscription model will work for us. We have had excellent response from non-lobbyists (i.e. political junkies like Silver Surfer above)throughout the state who would like to see a less expensive monthly rate. So once session is over we may consider trying a wider reach at a cheaper price. So thanks for your kind comments and hang in there with us a bit longer. Meanwhile, we're offering a 30 percent in honor of the Pulitzer. Just enter the word "pulitzer" in the coupon code space on the order form. (Note to Sonoran Sam: It's only $30 a month, not $60, for the non-professional rate.)

Patti Epler
Senior political editor
The Arizona Guardian

I agree with SonoranSam. The quote I get is $30.00 a month. The Repugnant is less than half that if you subscribe. I think they need to consider some sort of happy hour or ladies night. :>) I would love to be a reader of their high quality reporting for, say, $16.00 a month.

I received a comped subscription to the Arizona Guardian because I am a legislator. They do a great job covering the capitol. I use them every day to keep on top of things, even though I am an "insider."

I hope they make it but the subscription cost is high and I also wonder what they will report on when session ends.

Good luck Arizona Guardian. I do hope you make it.

"I have yet to see a website that can provide general news content and manage to break even."

Greg - it's called the Drudge Report.

How about Inman News? The annual subscription is $150, and it's worth every penny if you're interested in real estate, the lending industry, the mortgage loan crisis or any related subject. They also hold seminars and networking events to supplement their revenue. That model might not work for the be-everything-to-everyone type of news outlet, but for specialized journalism it seems like a winning formula.

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