Friday, February 27, 2009
Newsday Charging for Online, Will Other Newspapers' Follow Suit?
Market analysts were puzzledwhen Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) paid $650 million for Newsday last May. Almost one year later $400 million of write-down, it was obviously a bad move, but Cablevision's latest decision makes their initial purchase look like Seward's deal for Alaska.
Cablevision just announced it's going to charge for online access to Newsday. Chief Operating officer Tom Rutledge told Reuters:
Our goal was and is to use our electronic network assets and subscriber relationships to transform the way news is distributed. We plan to end the distribution of free Web content
Newsday isn't the first paper to implement this method. The Wall Street Journal charges monthly subscription rates for full acess and one of Newsday's chief competitors,the New York Times has experimented with full-access fees in the past.
With major news publications dropping like flies, I wonder if any other executives will be crazy enough to contemplate online fees. Ultimately, many papers will be forced to close their doors regardless of any revenue model they choose.
The timing couldn't be worse for consumers, who are trying to cut costs at every corner. It's just too easy for even the die-hard Newsday loyalists (if any exist) to find an alternate news source for free.
By Matt O'Hern at 09:30 AM | Comments (0)