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El Paso Times website to offer limited free articles; push all-access subscription model

By Leonard Martinez
Published On: Dec 24 2013 03:47:42 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 16 2014 07:03:07 PM CST
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KayPat/SXC

Daily deadlines aside, the newspaper industry is going through some major changes right now. Layoffs, buyouts and cutbacks are common, with many reporters feeling they have to prove they deserve to keep their jobs.

EL PASO, Texas -

The El Paso Times, Las Cruces Sun-News and the six other papers in the Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership are adopting an all-access subscription model.

The all-access metered model will allow non-subscribers a set number of free articles per month on each paper's respective website. Subscribers will receive access to print, digital and mobile content, according to a Denver Post article making the announcement.

Digital First Media’s CEO John Paton first made the announcement on his blog on Monday. Digital First Media operates the partnership and 69 other daily newspapers.

Seventy five of its newspapers will roll out its all-access subscription packages now through January 2014, according to the Denver Post article. The Salt Lake Tribune will not be taking part, according to the article.

Digital First Media was formed in 2011 and took over management of MediaNews Group and its newspapers, including the El Paso Times and Las Cruces Sun-News.

“After a lot research by our team, we believe an All-Access print-digital subscription initiative is necessary to buy us that proverbial gas in the tank,” Paton wrote on his blog. “With the rise of digital and the fall of print, we’re at the point where we can launch a working All-Access subscription model. Let’s be clear, paid digital subscriptions are not a long-term strategy. They don’t transform anything; they tweak. At best, they are a short-term tactic. I have said that often enough in the past. But it’s a tactic that will help us now.”

“In the past few years, if there is anything I have learned there is no single solution to the print-digital transformation,” Paton wrote on his blog. “You clearly have to be focused on digital, put digital first and heavily invest in your digital future – products, people, tools and training. An All-Access subscription strategy is another of the many tactics needed on this necessary journey of transformation. And, to be sure, we are going to do whatever it takes to make that transformation happen.”

Paton wrote that each newspaper market is offering more to the consumer and that it will be tailored to the market.

The Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership was created in 2003 as a joint venture between Gannett and MediaNews Group. At the time, Gannett owned the El Paso Times.

The Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership announced in late October that 19 of its employees at its newspapers would be laid off.

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