This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week

4. Hitting the Wall

New York Times Co. (NYT) tore down a short-lived subscription wall.

The New York-based newspaper publisher said Wednesday it will stop charging for online access to its columnists and news archives. The move came two years to the day after the Times rolled out a widely questioned plan to charge $50 annually for those features as part of an offering called TimesSelect.

Some skeptics wondered at the time whether the Times would succeed in getting readers to pay for columns, though the company brushed off those worries.

"This is a great new product," the company said back in September 2005. "TimesSelect provides our readers with unique access to some of the newspaper's most influential and popular columnists as well as a way for members to communicate with the columnists. It also opens the door to one of the world's most extensive newspaper archives in an affordable way."

Many readers declined to open the door, however. The Times said TimesSelect "certainly met and exceeded our goals," but the paid subscriber rolls flattened out this year at around 227,000. The company, which has been hit hard by a downturn in newspaper advertising, concluded it risked surrendering valuable online ad revenue by continuing the service.

But it's not that trying TimesSelect was a mistake. No, just as rolling out TimesSelect was an exciting and uplifting moment, so was consigning the little-used service to the scrap heap.

"Advertisers see the enormous value in making our site open and free to everyone," the company said Wednesday. "With the removal of the pay wall, the audience potential at, already the No. 1 newspaper Web site in the United States, is vast."

As is the opportunity for more mealy-mouthed corporate-speak.

Dumb-o-Meter score: 82. "Because of online users' growing reliance on search in order to navigate the Web," a statement said Wednesday, " expects to see a substantially increased number of unique users referred to and accessing the site once the pay wall is gone."

4 of 5

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs