A couple of interesting developments Thursday popped up at what is, in my humble but informed opinion, one of the most corrupt news outlets in the history of the universe. Politico not only turned a top spot on its home page over to what is known as “sponsor-generated content,” but is about to launch a limited (for now) paywall.
Taking up the kind of valuable, top-o-the-page real estate a headline that might make Obama uncomfortable would never win, sits this today…
…a commercial for the National Retail Federation written by Matthew Shay, their president and CEO.
This commercial is fourth from the top on the homepage’s left side.
(Gee, I wonder what Politico would charge me to buy that spot for a story titled: “The truth About Libya.” Heaven knows that is the only way Politico would even consider placing such a thing in such a prominent spot. )
Politico’s new cash grab doesn’t end there. The left-wing outlet announced today that, “Starting this week, we are going to test a metered system for subscriptions [paywall] in a half-dozen states and internationally.”
The states are Iowa, North Dakota, Vermont, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Other than Vermont, it sounds like Politico took a poll of its staff that asked for the five “ickiest” states in the country.
Many news outlets, like The Washington Post and New York Times, have reportedly been moving to paywalls (or digital subscriptions) due to the fact that advertising revenue is drying up. In its press release, Politico assures us that is not the case with them:
The most unique aspect of POLITICO is that unlike other media companies, we often sell out our ad inventory in the Washington, D.C., market because demand for our ad space is so high. This means it’s highly unlikely we would ever institute a metered system in the D.C. area. The economics wouldn’t work because every company that has put a subscription system in place has seen some decrease in traffic, as you might expect. We want and need that traffic in D.C. because the desire of advertisers to reach our elite audience here is exceptionally strong. For you non-business folks, that is a very good problem to face.
Well, that is a relief. I sure would hate to think that one of the most corrupt news outlets in the history of the universe might be floundering, or something.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC