Pay Walls Could Be Print's Salvation Online

Publishers are meeting short-term goals with digital subscriptions for community newspapers.

According to Newspaper Association of America data, circulation revenue grew by 5 percent for dailies in 2012.

According to Newspaper Association of America data, circulation revenue grew by 5 percent for dailies in 2012.

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If these trends continue however, the path for local, daily newspapers to financial stability may be clearer. "Sometimes we fall victim to standing around, waiting for conditions to be perfect," says Steve Wagenlander, director of audience development for The Post and Courier of Charleston, S.C.

The independent, locally owned paper switched to meter system operated by Press+ last May and Wagenlander says it is happy with the results thus far. "We are 11 months in and we are ahead of the curve," he says.

And as for other local newspapers that haven't adopted a subscription service, Wagenlander warns: "They're leaving money on the table when they're not doing something."

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  • Corrected on 4/9/2013: A previous version of this article misstated the name of Gannett's vice president of audience development and engagement. It is Maribel Perez-Wadsworth.