Syracuse New Times to publish last free issue before going to pay model

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) The very last free issue of the Syracuse New Times hits stands Wednesday morning, but the weekly isn’t going away.

The paper will be turning to a paid model starting with the Wednesday, April 24 edition.

On Tuesday, the team was putting together what will be a 50th-anniversary edition for the last free paper in its long history in Syracuse.

Publisher Bill Brod tells NewsChannel 9, “I’m really proud of the fact that we’re going out by acknowledging the past and the sidebar, ‘Subscribe’, is a precursor and indicator of the future.”

Brod says it’s both an exciting and nervous times as the paper goes paid.

He says the New Times was no longer able to support itself and stay a free paper because of declining advertising revenue.

“Our paper has constricted like many papers have over the last few years, and we came to the conclusion we can no longer continue to constrict and be successful so we had to break out and do something different,” Brod says.

Rather than continue to shrink, he says, the new model should allow them to offer favorite features and also expand the New Times with more content.

So far, subscriptions have been selling well Brod says, though admitting they have nothing to base it on having never done it before. 

He adds the first 30 days will be very telling.

“If the paper is worth having in our community then helps us by covering the printing and distribution costs.  If it’s not, we’ll hear the community’s silence, that’ll be a clear vote and we’ll move our resources on to other things. I would hate to do that. Honestly, that would tear me up to do that,” Brod tells NewsChannel 9.

Subscriptions right now are $52 a year, $1 an issue, but then go up to $1.50 on May 15.

You’ll also be able to buy a copy anytime for a $1.50 at 330 spots around the area, like Wegmans, Tops, Price Chopper, Speedway, Kwik-Fill, Byrne Dairy.

Click here for more information or to sign up for a Syracuse New Times Subscription.

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