This is a strategy that even the Murdoch-owned Sydney news.com.au has recoiled from implementing - with all the evidence pointing to massive subscriber losses when tried.
Compost insiders report that blowhard editor, Townsville-based Julian Tomlinson, has boasted that his formula "will make the papers hugely profitable". The Tomlinson Paywall Strategy? Strict management of what's "free" and what is "for pay".
A recent audit of the Cairns Post website shows the results of this strategy. . .
Local Dental expert disputes Cairns Council plan? PAY
Two Queensland women in Miss Universe pageant? FREE
Local child safety overwhelmed and understaffed - PAY
Cairns helicopter shortage, high schools rated, Arakun residents told to go home,
Schoolies targeted by brothel - PAY
New Bar opens in Reef Casino - FREE
The dumbing-down of the Cairns Post has gone high-tech.
You can't make this shit up.
Newscorp-owned papers in Maroochydore, Mackay, Rockhampton, and other regional communities have rejected the Tomlinson-driven strategy calling it "absurd", "ignorant", and "suicidal".
And real estate agents are among the most vocal. And it's not hard to see why. Advertising in the Cairns Post for residential real estate is what "pays the bills". While the size of the Saturday Real Estate insert is about the same as 10 years ago, the actual number of properties being advertised is down 42%. Sellers are being strongarmed by estate agents into larger and more expensive ads that are seen by fewer and fewer people. This online strategy by Tomlinson is only going to exacerbate the advertising collapse. Will the Cairns Post continue to publish a "paper" newspaper on Saturdays when all the property sellers finally realise that most properties are now being sold online?
One Edmonton-area estate agency has now formally begun advising new listings to skip the thousands demanded by the Cairns Post and instead buy "premium" listings online.
Newspaper delivery workers have had informal discussions as the Cairns Post has dropped hints of "route consolidation". Meaning fewer delivery jobs with longer hours and more driving. And as actual newspaper subscribers start getting substandard service and later delivery times, the death spiral gains speed.
With adequate worldwide evidence that newspaper paywalls are a failure, this can only be a plan by Newscorp to eliminate local regional newspapers altogether. Cairns Post insiders however believe that Julian Tomlinson is actually convinced he can do the impossible - and that it will be his ticket to higher positions within the Murdoch-owned press.
It's only a matter of time before the Compost orders John MacKenzie to STOP reading articles from the paper - a time-filler that uses up 45 minutes or so of Cueball's daily program.