Media in Madison make major shifts
Post by Jesse Russell on 6/21/2012 10:00am
Madison's media landscape has changed substantially over the last two weeks. The biggest news about news came in the form of massive heartbreak when it was learned that The Onion's AV Club in Madison would cease to exist as we know it.
The shutters officially went up on June 15, 2012 with an adieu from editor Ben Munson. Although a weekly feature and picks will continue in the paper version of The Onion it's still the loss of a very public advocate for Madison's vibrant music and culture scene.
That news was followed by an announcement from Isthmus arts editor Kenneth Burns that he'd be leaving the city he's long called his home for Tennessee. With Burns goes a great deal of institutional and historical knowledge of the Madison music scene, and of course, one of the friendliest faces around. It will take time, but we will recover from the loss of his talent. Madison has many, many talented arts writers who also happen to be freelancers hungry for a regular gig. It'll be interesting to see who of that pool Isthmus entrusts with its arts section.
Perhaps the biggest news in the Madison media market is that madison.com has decided to adopt the paywall strategy for its content. The website, which hosts the online versions of the Wisconsin State Journal, Capital Times, and 77Square, follows in the footsteps of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel which adopted a nearly identical strategy earlier this year. The website will allow 20 reads before asking non-paywall subscribers to pay a $1.95 monthly fee if you're already a print subscriber, or $4.95 per month if you're aren't.
One major difference between the Milwaukee and Madison news sites is that the Sentinel doesn't charge print subscribers an additional fee to use their website.
Not everything will be locked down after 20 reads at madison.com. According to the Wisconsin State Journal visitors who don't subscribe will still have the freedoms of "scanning site homepages and indexes, looking at advertising, checking the weather or reading breaking news bulletins."
Jesse was born and raised in Connecticut, began blogging in 1997, and moved to Madison in 2003. In 2005, he co-founded dane101 along with Kristian Knutson and Shane Wealti. In addition to helping nearly a dozen contributors run this website he's helped launch various events in the city including What's Your Damage?!, the MadPubQuiz of Awesomeness, the Fire Ball Masquerade, Dane101's Freakin' Halloweekend, and more.