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TV NewsCheck resumes publishing, with stories locked behind paywall

The publication is working on a bulk subscription offering for corporate partners, the website's co-founder says.

The publication is working on a bulk subscription offering for corporate partners, the website's co-founder says.

The homepage of the website TV NewsCheck. (Graphic by The Desk)
The homepage of the website TV NewsCheck. (Graphic by The Desk)

The website TV NewsCheck is publishing news content once again, less than two weeks after its top editors said the company would put written content on hiatus in favor of focusing on its emerging events business.

The reversal comes with a significant caveat: TV NewsCheck content now requires a subscription to the website’s TVN Plus product, which costs $200 per year.

Earlier this month, TV NewsCheck’s top editors said the decision to stop publishing news articles for free came amid a downturn in the digital advertising market, a situation that has impacted some of its peer publications.

Amid an outpouring of reader support, the editors followed up the note with an affirmation that the website needed around $300,000 to “turn the lights back on,” something that could be accomplished if it generated at least 1,500 subscription sales.

Shortly after that note was published, TV NewsCheck posted an article about a forthcoming streaming joint venture that involves Fox Corporation, the Walt Disney Company’s ESPN and Warner Bros Discovery’s TNT Sports, one that has reportedly caused anxiety among some local TV station group owners.

The article was placed behind a paywall, visible only to TVN Plus subscribers, breaking with the website’s tradition of offering most of its news and analysis for free.

When asked about the situation, TV NewsCheck editor Kathy Haley affirmed the website “published a premium story this week” as well as a limited amount of “news curation,” which was intended to draw more subscribers to TVN Plus.

“We are working on adding a corporate subscription option for companies that want to buy [a subscription to TVN Plus] in bulk,” Haley affirmed, saying the feature should be online sometime this week.

The website is the second industry publication to significantly modify its operation over the past 12 years as publishers look for ways to reign in costs and tap new revenue sources amid a downturn in the advertising market.

Last July, radio publication All Access said it would shut down after nearly three decades of publishing industry news online. Joel Denver, the publisher of All Access, cited unspecified financial issues for the reason. After an outpouring of support from readers, Denver abandoned plans to shut down All Access, announcing instead that the entire editorial staff would be let go and the daily “Net News” portion of the website would close.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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