So the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has decided to experiment with a premium content model.  This, as they say, should be interesting.

I don’t think it’s a profound observation on my part to note that it’s a rough time for print journalism.  And I’m not one of those who’s dismissive of the medium – to the contrary, and as should be apparent from the regular references I make to Georgia’s beat writers, there’s still a lot of value in what the papers, virtual or otherwise, bring to the table.  So if the AJ-C thinks this helps with its viability, good for it.

But I’ve got to tell you I wonder how it’s going to work, putting exclusive content side by side with the obvious trolling for hits that is the mo for much of what shows up on the AJ-C‘s website.  (Not to mention how much viewers are going to want the content that the AJ-C deems to be exclusive.)



Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles

35 responses to “

  1. heyberto

    Maybe Schultz and Bradley can finally emote over the Genius and bash UGA in relative peace. I sure wont be signing up and I wonder how many of the bulldog faithful will opt out as well.


  2. 202dawg

    Shouldn’t they have, I don’t know, PREMIUM CONTENT before they start charging? The 25 year tenure of Terence Moore comes to mind…


    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      +1. Having “AJC” and “premium content” in the same sentence is so inconsistent as to be an oxymoron.


  3. Chuck

    I don’t have any particular animosity to the AJC; but for the fact they discontinued home delivery to my house I would probably still subscribe. And I actually pay about $21.50/mo for online access to the NYT (including the crosswords!) so I am not absolutely opposed to paying for online content. But it needs to be better than what the AJC offers for me to do it.

    Historically, the Atlanta papers – particularly the Constitution when they were separate – have been able to stand out for reporting and editorial content, and they had some great sportswriters in Outlar and yes, even Bisher. But it’s been awhile. It’s as if they thought all they had to do to succeed was to show they could tweet like their kids. Nope, content still counts, at lest if you want me to pay.


  4. Hogbody Spradlin

    There’s not enough demand for their product so they’re raising the price? Am I missing something here from Economics 101?

    I’m sure they’ll say the content behind the paywall is new premium stuff, but how much new premium stuff is out there? I speculate that much of the content will be aimed at bettors who will pay for that last scrap of data.


    • Scorpio Jones, III

      Assuming there are betters who are dumb enough to pay, what, do you think they could find out that they could not find out for free somewhere else…and probably faster?

      The AJC has become irrelevant to the average Georgia fan…and probably most college team fans….this is a commitment to quality content issue that has little or nothing to do with economics.

      I don’t mean to sound harsh…to you, not the AJC :), Hog, but there are newspapers all over the country which “get it” and are producing quality product ever day, free of bullshit from BradSchultz or Carvell. (I point to the Chattanooga Times Free press and David Paschall as an example.)

      The problem with the AJC is that they simply don’t know what they are doing anymore.

      Can you remember when the Sunday AJC had the best, the absolute finest, college football coverage in the known world? Covered, staffed, every big game all over the country…and stopped doing that because somebody decided pro sports were more important…its the ATLANTA Braves, don’t cha know?


      • Hogbody Spradlin

        You’re cool. I just have a picture in my mind that the proverbial bettor is so desperate for any edge that s/he’ll leave no stone unturned, even paying to see AJC content.


      • that’s my thoughts as well. I’m harsh on the AJC because it stinks. Print media, and newspapers are still something I enjoy. But their beat writers are jokes compared to Paschall, Weiszer, Emerson, among others. But then, the AJ-C has routinely been lacking even back when Hale, Odom, Kendall, etc had the beat. They haven’t had a good writers on the Georgia beat since Schlabach, and even he was limited by his editors.


  5. They already tried this once years ago around 03-04 maybe? I don’t think it lasted more than a few weeks if my memory serves me correctly.


  6. paul

    Twenty five years ago I worked at the Journal-Constitution so I actually have some affection for newspapers in general and the AJC in particular. But much like the NCAA, the newspaper business is slowly bleeding out due to self inflicted wounds. And just like the NCAA their response is to keep doing more of what caused their problems to begin with. Apparently, they’ve decided to adopt the MARTA model of economics: ridership goes down, so we raise prices, which decreases ridership so we raise prices again. Rinse and repeat. It’s working so spectacularly for MARTA who wouldn’t want to get in on some of that action? The reality is that in today’s media environment you simply cannot stay in business pursuing a business model where your primary source of revenue is charging advertisers for eyeballs. This has been readily apparent for quite a long time. Yet the newspaper business simply has not adapted.


    • A virtual pantheon of fine writers have passed through those offices over the last 40 years. It was once, IMO, the finest sports coverage in the country.

      They had two full-time writers on the NASCAR circuit, two more who traveled with the PGA tour, several who were assigned to major NFL games, and reporters on-site at all the important southern college games.

      Not to mention complete saturation coverage of the Atlanta pro sports and Georgia college teams.

      What a pleasure to sit down on Sunday morning with coffee and spend an hour or more just reading the sports section, with no sports networks or internet news to spoil the anticipation.

      Many of those writers went on to fame and respect in bigger markets or ended up with the sports-news networks – principally, for my money, Dave Kindred.

      They still have a couple guys who can write – Bradley, Shultz, Tucker, Cunningham – but they have all sacrificed their instinct and talent in search of the almighty internet click.


  7. Russ

    To sell premium content don’t you have to have premium content?


  8. Scott W.

    I’m pretty sure this is the death rattle of the AJC.


  9. BHP

    AJC,com is a virtual fish wrapper. I’m pretty sure that a high school web design class could do a better job of putting together the website. It’s common for articles to be illustrated with 3 or 4 copies of the exact same photo, all with the same two paragraph caption. If they can’t properly caption a photo, I don’t have much hope for any content that’s worth paying for. Actually, it’s pretty laughable that the AJC thinks that the website, as it currently sits, is worth any subscription fee.


    • Cojones

      Yep, they can’t touch Bluto when it comes to captions including the one for this post. “”- I was laughing before clicking.


  10. ChilliDawg

    AJC Business Strategy = See stone. Mine for blood.


  11. AlphaDawg

    Last time I read an actual newspaper was standing at a urinal.


  12. PatinDC

    Also, it looks like they are including GT news as “Premium” content. Giggle.


  13. Newt

    Not saying it’s worth paying for, but at last check had by far the most traffic of any of the local media/news websites in Atlanta (double the monthly traffic of and, #2 & #3 respectively). I only ever go there via links, but they have a healthy online readership.


  14. WillTrane

    Newspapers are in trouble today for two major reason. Not radio talk shows. Not TV talk shows. Not blog sites. And so on.
    Most alleged writers can not write, and most alleged readers can not read. It has been a long, long time since I have seen an actual hard copy of the AJC. Decades ago they stopped at the fault line. The AJC gone, but not forgotten for how they trashed UGA and the Dawgs at every turn.
    Let us see how good they are on a revisit to Auburn and the allegations against their former coach. I like for them to tell us where Coach Boom came up with $4,000 to pay a player. Just wonder if the Boom does that a UF now?
    AJC and Cynthia Tucker…a pair in the twilight. What a waste of forest by products.


    • AlphaDawg

      I agree with your take on writing and reading. The net has even moved away from the written word. Many of the links to stories and articles are links to videos now with advertisements. I personally never watch any of them, if there isn’t a written article to compliment the video I’ll click through to the next piece that does have written content.

      IMHO, Davey O’Brian is a top notch beat writer, none of the other AJC ‘Journalist’ can hold his jock.


    • Wow. Will Trane complaining about someone’s writing skills. Beyond ironic.


  15. uglydawg

    I hope they bite the sack. Let someone with some integrity and fairness cover Dixie like the Dew.


  16. Cojones

    It’s hard to say things derogatory about the memory of the AJC that was my source as a window to the outside world when a youth in rural Sowega. Great and wonderful information glued my eyes to the Atlanta Journal in the late 40s to late 50s; my racial moral compass was set by McGill, Editor-in-Chief, who was syndicated in most major papers throughout the US and beyond and known not so affectionately as “Rastus Ralph McGill” in my part of Ga. His written moderation toward racial integration was a bell cow of intellectual influence that finally destroyed segregation and changed my perception of it at an early age.

    The Sports Pages had the same influence toward fair play in all sports, but chiefly in CFB. Furman Bisher and Jesse Outlar eventually gave the oomph needed to make The Sports of the South readable to the country. Anyone remember the long dotted lines on photos of passes that kept the QB and the receiver in the same photo with the ball enroute? Little things like that were great when visualizing the written words about games.

    Some of the writers who spotlight UGA now are awful and with many of them in the AJC….it just ain’t the same. All hail the new that is about to spring from the old which sprang from the old. I’ve been innoculated by the UGA-basher sports writers such that I now only read what The Senator puts up for consideration. But what a great loss that paper, with brave editorial comments, is from the past. I still can remember waiting for Dad to finish reading portions of the Atlanta Journal and laying them aside to be snatched up with greedy little hands anxious to see what McGill, Herman Talmadge or Richard B Russell had to say. Oh to have some of those editorial life-directing influences back again. Not only do I mourn a loss of great sports voices, but also of early AJC moral leaders like McGill.