Patch Topples Paywall in Sonoma, Calif.

The launch of Sonoma Patch, a hyperlocal news site covering Sonoma, Calif., which is part of Aol’s Patch initiative, crumbled the paywall of local twice-weekly newspaper The Sonoma Index-Tribune, after just three months, fellow local newspaper The Press Democrat reported.

The Index-Tribune began charging readers $5 per month for Web-only access in September, with that newspaper’s publisher and editor-in-chief, Bill Lynch, writing to subscribers that free access to its content “is a business model for newspapers that cannot be sustained,” according to The Press Democrat.

However, once Sonoma Patch debuted in late November, The Index-Tribune took down its pay wall, The Press Democrat reported.

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