The Miami Herald Paywall Goes Live Today; New Times Remains Free, Hooray!

If you tried to click through the Miami Herald's site this morning, you were in for a nasty surprise: The salad days of riding that Herald gravy train for free are over, you freeloader. Starting today, that Fred Grimm addiction of yours is gonna cost ya, up to $15.99 a month.

Here at New Times, we're proud to announce our own new online subscription plan this morning. Here's how it works: All of our stuff remains totally free. But if you want to buy us a shot of tequila or something, we'll meet you at Happy Hour. Any day of the week!

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Compare that to the Herald's new plan: A print subscription plus online access will set you back $15.99 a month; a Sunday paper plus online comes out to $3.99 a month and for now, you can pony up .99 to keep reading online content for the next month.

Random Pixels got its hand on publisher David Landsberger's email to the Herald staff about the change. Here's what he had to say about the reasons behind the charges:

During the past two years many newspapers around the country have introduced paid subscriptions for access to their websites and apps. Beginning December 18, The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald will do so as well, launching digital subscription packages.

Why are we doing this? The world of news and information keeps changing. Technological advances provide us with the convenience of mobile phones, tablets and social media channels. We have transformed our business to become 24/7 information specialists, with the ability to deliver breaking news through a variety of digital platforms in addition to our print newspapers. These changes have resulted in a new business model, whereby the cost of producing our news coverage is spread across the various channels we provide.
The reasons behind New Times new, cutting-edge optional-tequila-shot online system are much more simple: We could really use a drink.

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