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Chicago Tribune Could Begin Charging For Content

The Chicago Tribune will build a paywall around its online content and will consider a “creative way” of charging for access, according to Editor Gerould Kern.

Details and a timeline were not available, but Kern said they’re looking into it.

“I think we will begin to charge in a selective way,” he said at a Chicago conference, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

The Tribune would join the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times as the major newspapers that charge for content. The WSJ has a large paywall, offering a select few free articles chosen by editors. The Times paywall allows for 20 free articles a month.

Along with the larger Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune is a flagship paper of the bankrupt Tribune Company. The company is looking to new streams of online revenue as a way to help it emerge from bankruptcy, which could happen as early as the third quarter of this year.

Another Tribune paper, the Baltimore Sun, began charging for content last fall using a metered model, similar to that of the Times, offering readers 15 free page views a month and then charging after that.

The Tribune‘s chief rival, the Chicago Sun-Times, began charging for access to its websites. That company is also using a metered model.

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