The Christian Science Monitor’s New Paid, Daily Product Is Aiming for 10,000 Subscribers in a Year
That’s the first line of a column will appear in next week’s print issue of The Christian Science Monitor Weekly, the 109-year-old print magazine. The question is what has driven the team at the Monitor to think over the last 18 months about how to replace its website with a different kind of core digital product that would (a) make clearer the publication’s focus on “a completely different way of seeing the news,” (b) get readers to pay for that news, and (c) abandon outmoded ways of arranging content.
“We had felt like we were trying to do three different things at the same time,” said Mark Sappenfield, the Christian Science Monitor’s editor, who just replaced Marshall Ingwerson in March. “We were trying to keep our core product going, build our verticals, and play the pageview game.”
“We’d been marching through these business lines and not really feeling that successful in any one of them,” said David Grant, associate publisher. “The long-term sustainability wasn’t there. What we landed on was trying to build a much deeper relationship with our readers. That’s landed us on this journey of going all in on digital subscription. The Daily is really in the service of this mission of making people more thoughtful, less neurotic, more calm, and seeing the world through the lens of progress.”