Free news will soon end
MMC to launch paywall
By Robert Cloud
One newspaper has served Waupaca for 165 years.
Known as the Waupaca Spirit, the original publication offered four pages of local news and advertising.
Over the decades, new publishers purchased the paper, changing its name from the Waupaca Criterion to the Waupaca Republican, until it finally became known as the Waupaca County Post in 1917.
Advances in technology also brought changes to the look and design of the paper.
Long, gray columns of text with tiny headlines were replaced with photos, which eventually became color. The number of pages and the number of subscribers grew.
Multi Media Channels purchased the Waupaca County Post in December 2012, along with other newspapers and shoppers in New London, Clintonville, Rhinelander, Merrill, Marathon County, Wood County, Stevens Point and Rhinelander.
MMC soon developed a mission to provide weekly news coverage in print and daily news online.
The goal was to reach readers in the format they preferred, whether it was digital or print.
For five years, a growing number of Waupaca County Post’s customers have been reading the news online for free.
They visit the Waupaca County News website, which offers local stories from the Waupaca County Post, the New London Press Star and the Clintonville Tribune-Gazette.
Online news allows readers to access our stories in a more timely manner than is possible with a weekly publication.
Unlike print, digital provides unlimited virtual space for more photos of the local events we cover.
Our website also allows us to post video highlights of varsity games, festivals and concerts.
The shift to digital technology has given our newspapers more opportunities to offer a better, more creative news product.
However, providing our news product at no cost has impacted revenues.
Even digital news costs money to produce.
We still must pay the salaries of our editors, reporters and photographers, IT staff and graphic designers, administrative and support staff. Utilities, rent, travel costs and insurance cannot be ignored. Equipment must be repaired or upgraded.
Beginning Sept. 13, our customers will need to go to mmcsubscriptions.com to access the content on the Waupaca County News website.
Subscriptions to the printed newspapers cost $49 per year or $26 for six months.
When readers click to access a story, they will be prompted to register or subscribe after reading their monthly limit of five free stories.
Newspaper subscribers can register to read the news online at no extra cost.
Online-only subscriptions are available for 99 cents per month or $9.99 per year.
New subscribers will need to sign up for an account, provide their email address, select a password and pay with a credit card.
Those who have already subscribed will need to enter their email address and password.
That small amount of 99 cents per month will help MMC continue a 165-year tradition of providing the community with local news coverage.