NYT, WSJ Resume Charging for Online Content

Storm's over: Pay up

With the weather emergency subsiding, the paywalls have returned to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal websites. Both papers unlocked their sites ahead of Hurricane Sandy to provide readers with full access to storm-related coverage and everything else on their sites.

The Wall Street Journal, which unlocked its website on Monday, resumed paid access on Wednesday. (However, all storm coverage, which was free even before the paywall was lowered, continues to be open to nonsubscribers.)

At the Times, which started offering full access on Sunday, the paywall will go back up on Friday afternoon and a note to readers will be posted to the homepage, a rep for the paper said.

With the paywall, Times readers could only read up to 10 articles for free before being asked to subscribe.

Meanwhile, other New York-based titles continued to find creative ways to keep publishing post-Sandy.

American Media Inc., publisher of Star and The National Enquirer, whose lower Manhattan office building was flooded, flew top editors by private plane to its Boca Raton, Fla., offices and is relocating the rest of its staff to a scattering of borrowed offices in the New York area.

AMI chairman David Pecker said the response to the storm recalled the anthrax scare that forced the closure of the Boca headquarters in 2001. "We went through the anthrax thing then, so we had a disaster plan in place," he said. That disaster didn't prepare him for the loss of communication wrought by Sandy, though. 

Nevertheless, Pecker said AMI closed its issues two days early and was able to get its weeklies out on time. "The sales numbers I got back were average or better than normal," he said.

He expected the New York headquarters to be closed another three to four weeks while the water is pumped out. 

New York’s downtown office remained closed due to the power outage, but the magazine was working out of its owner Wasserstein & Co.’s midtown office to put out next week’s issue as scheduled (including 20 pages of hurricane coverage), a spokeswoman said. 

—Emma Bazilian contributed reporting.