CJR Crunches the Capital New York Paywall Numbers

Shutterstock_CoinsGraphCapital New York’s imminent paywall works out to $16.41… per day. We shared our skepticism about the recent announcement of a $5,990 annual climb for subscribers; this morning, the Columbia Journalism Review‘s Dean Starkman takes a different view:

The secret to Capital New York is that it only has to sell 600 or so subscriptions to break even, and it’s probably going to do better than that because it’s not like apples in at least one important respect…

[Politico Pro’s] numbers are about 1,700 organizations and 10,000 readers. Divide the 10,000 readers by the five readers allowed to use it to get to 2,000 subscribers, times $8,000 each, gets to a rough annual revenue $16 million. Politico has more than 100 employees, but not that much more. Let’s pay them at a rate of $100,000 each, including benefits, and we’re at, say, $12 million, and comfortably in the black.

One possible problem with Starkman’s equation is that in Albany and NYC, there are likely currently fewer corporate expense-account matches for the Allbritton pay-a-ton model than in the Beltway. It’s all TB-CPN-D of course, and FishbowlNY would love to be proven wrong.

In the meantime, CJR may have just earned itself some complimentary one-to-five terminal 2014 access. Read the rest of Starkman’s thoughts here.

[Image: Peshkova/Shutterstock.com]