Times UK Paywall Confirms: Readers Hate Paying For ThingsS

In your tricky Tuesday media column: UK newspaper readers are cheap (just like us), Hugh Hefner's perch atop Playboy is safe, insta-analysis of the fallout of Martin Dunn's departure from the NYDN, and staff moves at Forbes and the NYT.

  • The Times UK put up an online paywall three weeks ago. In that time, according to the rival Guardian (and their figures include a healthy does of speculation), The Times' online readership has fallen by more than 80%. Which, in fact, is what everyone expected would happen. The real test will be whether it makes more money than paper could have earned through online advertising with a free site.

  • To repeat, for clarity's sake: just because someone else bid more for Playboy than Hugh Hefner did doesn't mean he has to sell it to them. He runs the place!

  • In the wake of Martin Dunn's abrupt departure as NYDN editor today, most of the gossip we're hearing out of the newsroom there concerns the future of Orla Healy, who runs the paper's features department, who Dunn brought on board in 2005. Healy is unpopular among her employees, and some say that her friendship with Dunn was her strongest asset. Several features staffers have left the paper in the last six months. Now, some are already speculating that Healy's position at the paper has been severely weakened by Dunn's departure. (Here's a brief Dunn interview with Keith Kelly as well).

  • New York Times food writer Kim Severson is the paper's new Atlanta bureau chief.

  • William Baldwin, a top editor at Forbes for more than a decade, is stepping down to become a writer. You don't see that too often! Which would lead us to believe that perhaps "stepping down" means "being demoted by Forbes' new overlord, Lewis D'Vorkin." But either way, writing is way more fun than editing.